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Israel Conciliatory after Embassy Attack in Cairo

  • Robert Berger

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the weekly meeting of his Cabinet at his office in Jerusalem, September 11, 2011

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the weekly meeting of his Cabinet at his office in Jerusalem, September 11, 2011

Israel is seeking to limit the damage to relations with Egypt following an attack Friday on the Israeli Embassy in Cairo.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet the Egyptian mob that ransacked the Israeli Embassy in Cairo is not interested in peace. But he said the Egyptian government wants to promote peace and maintain it.

Netanyahu said Israel and Egypt are discussing the return of the Israeli ambassador to Cairo when security permits.

The ambassador and about 80 other embassy staff and family members were evacuated from Cairo following the attack and flown back to Israel.

Banner headlines in Israeli newspapers described the storming of the embassy as an attack on the 32-year-old peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. But Netanyahu says Israel remains committed to the agreement.

"The peace treaty is in the interest of both countries," he said.

While a strong Egyptian government is in Israel’s interest, it fears Egypt's military rulers have lost control of the streets, with negative repercussions on regional stability.

Israel has seen two strategic partnerships suddenly deteriorate. Turkey expelled the Israeli ambassador 10 days ago, after Israel refused to apologize for a commando raid on a Gaza aid flotilla last year, in which nine Turkish activists were killed. And now the Cairo attack, leaving the Jewish state with a growing sense of isolation.

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