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Israel opens new Cairo embassy

Egypt strengthens diplomatic ties with Israel after bilateral relations reached a low following overthrow of Mubarak, election of Morsi
Egyptian demonstrators hit a wall outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo on 9 September 2015 (AFP)

Israel has re-opened its embassy in Cairo four years since it closed after being stormed by protesters during the Egyptian revolution of 2011.

"The Israeli embassy in Egypt is back in operation today," a ministry statement said. "Today, exactly four years ago, the Israeli diplomats were forced to leave the Israeli embassy."

Egypt in 1979 became the first Arab country to sign a peace treaty with Israel, but ties have remained formally cold over Israel's policies towards the Palestinians.

Ties frayed further after president Mubarak's overthrow in the 2011 revolution, hitting a low point when protesters stormed the Israeli embassy in September that year amid clashes with police.

Israeli diplomats were evacuated but eventually returned to Cairo, working from a temporary location.

Heading the diplomatic staff in Cairo is ambassador Haim Koren, who already presented his credentials last September.

Israel's deputy foreign minister, Tzipi Hotovely, welcomed the embassy's reopening.

"Against the background of regional developments, many opportunities present themselves for cooperation and an enhancement of relations between Israel and states in the region, especially Egypt," she said.

In June, Egypt appointed a new ambassador to Israel to fill a post left vacant since former president Mohamed Morsi recalled Cairo's previous envoy in 2012.

Ties between Egypt and Israel soured after Morsi's June 2012 election as president following the overthrow of Mubarak.

Morsi himself was ousted in July 2013 by then army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who became Egypt's president in 2014, since when relations between the neighbouring states have warmed.

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