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Egypt plea for seized ambassador - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Cairo – Egypt has appealed to the kidnappers of its ambassador in Iraq to treat him well and view him as an Arab patriot.

Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Egypt was working with Iraqi officials to secure the release of Ihab al-Sherif who was seized in Baghdad on Saturday.

He said he understood the &#34fury&#34 of the Iraqi people, but stressed that Sherif &#34is working for the benefit of the Iraqi and the Egyptian people&#34.

Sherif arrived in Iraq as Egypt”s top diplomat only five weeks ago.

He was subsequently designated ambassador, making Egypt the first Arab country to upgrade ties with Iraq.

The move was praised by Iraq”s foreign minister last week.

But Egypt”s decision may have angered the kidnappers, says the BBC”s Heba Saleh in Cairo.

He was buying a newspaper on Saturday evening when two BMWs full of gunmen blocked his way and kidnapped him

The US has been encouraging Arab countries to appoint ambassadors to Baghdad in an attempt to strengthen the new state and undermine the insurgency.