Morsy’s letter to Peres not friendly, just protocol, say diplomats

A letter from Egypt to Israel introducing Atef Sayed al-Ahl, Egypt's new ambassador to that nation, has attracted criticism for its allegedly overly friendly tone.

For instance, Israeli President Shimon Peres was addressed as “my dear great friend.”

A description of the letter was published in Times of Israel and has attracted negative attention on social-networking sites.

The presentation of a letter from one president to another introducing a new ambassador is standard diplomatic procedure.

Diplomatic sources explained that such a courteous tone is routine protocol long-used by all countries.

They also said it was a credence letter, and not a personal one from President Mohamed Morsy to Peres.

Meanwhile, senior sources at Morsy’s office told the Turkish outlet Anadolu News that they would be issuing a statement about the letter once they receive clarification from the Foreign Ministry.

An advisor to the president, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the story about the letter is 95 percent incorrect.

After the January 2011 revolution, there have been demands to cancel or amend the peace treaty that Egypt signed with Israel in 1979. The presidential office has repeatedly reaffirmed its respect for all international treaties and conventions.

Ahl was also accused of drinking alcohol while making a toast to Peres. The new ambassador denied this, clarifying that his cup contained water.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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