For the first time since Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohammed Morsi took office, Egypt will be sending a security delegation to Israel.
Channel 10 News reported on Monday that the Egyptian delegation will discuss issues such as the situation in Gaza and other matters of mutual interest with Israeli officials. The delegation is scheduled to arrive in Israel in the near future, the report said, but no exact date was given.
While Morsi has repeatedly said he would continue to maintain the peace with Israel and uphold international documents signed by prior Cairo administrations, he has mostly given Israel the cold shoulder since taking office.
In November, Morsi recalled the Egyptian ambassador to Israel in protest of Israel’s counterterrorism Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza.
Last October, Egypt rejected an Israeli request to upgrade the relations between the countries, after the Jewish State expressed interest in expanding the cooperation between the two countries and raising it to a level of ministerial talks between Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his Egyptian counterpart.
Last week, a four-man Israeli security delegation reportedly arrived in Cairo to take part in talks about the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Some reports indicated the Israeli delegation had come to hold indirect talks with Hamas about understandings reached after the ceasefire which ended Pillar of Defense.
Sending a security delegation to Israel would be the first time that Morsi’s regime publicly acknowledges the relations and cooperation between the two countries, noted Channel 10.
Shortly after he took office, Morsi decided to order the retirement of Egypt’s top generals, including Defense Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, with whom Israel had enjoyed close ties during the Mubarak regime.
While the generals were not replaced with members of the Muslim Brotherhood, the replacements were certainly approved by the movement, said the Channel 10 report.