Israel’s ambassador to Egypt David Govrin formally presented his credentials to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Wednesday, becoming Israel’s 13th ambassador to Egypt since the countries established ties in 1980.
Govrin, who speaks fluent Arabic and has a doctorate in Middle East history, takes over as ambassador to Egypt after serving recently as the director of the Foreign Ministry’s Jordan and North Africa Department, coordinating ties with the Hashemite Kingdom, Morocco and Tunisia.
Govrin replaced Chaim Koren, who served as ambassador for two years.
Govrin was one of eight ambassadors who presented their credentials to Sisi on Wednesday, the others being the new envoys from the UAE, Somalia, Mexico, Myanmar, Netherlands, Belgium and Greece.
The ceremony took place in the presence of Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry who visited Israel in July.
Shoukry’s trip, the first such by a senior Egyptian official in nearly a decade, was aimed at reviving the peace process and at the same time building on already improved relations with Israel since President al-Sisi took power.
Egypt, followed by Jordan, are the only Middle Eastern countries to make peace with Israel.
Sisi called on Palestinians and Israelis in May to seize the opportunity to make a historic peace, offering Israel the tantalizing prospect of warmer ties should it reach a just peace.
Israel reopened its embassy in Cairo last September, four years to the day after a mob invaded and trashed the legation, forcing Israel to airlift its diplomats out of Egypt and plunging the two countries into their worst diplomatic crisis in 30 years.