Israel Welcomes Egypt's Ambassador-Designate

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Israeli Foreign Ministry welcomed the arrival of Atef Salam, appointed as permanent ambassador to Israel by Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.

Salam, a career diplomat who previously served as Egypt's consul-general in Eilat, Israel's southernmost resort city, will present his credentials for permanent ambassadorship to President Shimon Peres on Oct. 17.

Israel is hoping Salam's appointment is a positive step in the developing relationship with Egypt's new Islamist government.

In August 2011, Egypt recalled its ambassador to Israel, Yasser Reda, to protest the deaths of five Egyptian troops caught in the cross-fire between Israeli troops and terrorists from the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli soldiers entered the Sinai in pursuit of a Popular Resistance Committee terror cell (subsidized and trained by the Hamas), that entered Israel from the Sinai to carry out multi-pronged attacks that left eight Israelis dead and 40 injured.

Though the Israeli Defense Force was pursuing the terrorists, Egyptians cried foul when their soldiers were inadvertently killed in the firefight.

Some of Morsi's statements before and after he became president affirm his strong allegiance with the Muslim Brotherhood and its ideology.

At the same time, he appears to be interested in maintaining some kind of diplomatic relationship with Israel, saying his administration intends to fully respect international treaties.

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