Egypt sends new ambassador to Israel

Egypt has appointed a new ambassador to Israel, choosing an experienced career diplomat in what some experts are taking as a sign of positive relations between Israel and Egypt.

Atef Salem el-Ahl has been serving as Egypt’s consul in Eilat. The choice of an envoy familiar with Israel counters concerns in Jerusalem that relations with Cairo could be downgraded with the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

“This shows the new Egypt lends importance to the Israeli relationship,” said Eli Shaked, a former Israeli ambassador to Egypt. “It is very encouraging.”

Israel’s relations with Egypt have been tense since the ouster last year of longtime President Hosni Mubarak, especially after the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammed Morsi became  president on June 30. — ap