No decision to recall envoy from Israel, says Egypt

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CAIRO: There has been no decision to recall the Egyptian ambassador to Israel after the death of five of Egypt’s policemen on the border with the Jewish state, Cairo’s information minister said on Thursday.

"There has been no decision to recall the Egyptian ambassador in Tel Aviv," Osama Heikal was quoted as saying by the official MENA news agency.

Egyptian state television had announced last week that Cairo would recall the ambassador, a move seen as a sign of a major diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

The crisis was triggered by the death of the policemen when Israeli forces were chasing militants along the border after a deadly attack on Israelis nearby.

Their deaths angered Egyptians, and hundreds of them demonstrated outside the Israeli embassy in Cairo calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador.

One of the protesters even managed to climb the Israeli embassy building, strip its flag and replace it with an Egyptian flag amid cheering crowds.

Egypt was the first Arab country to recognize Israel and signed a peace treaty with it in 1979.

Despite the treaty many Egyptians still view their neighbor with hostility and there have been calls to revise the peace agreement after a popular revolt ousted president Hosni Mubarak in February.

The military, which took power after Mubarak’s overthrow, has said it will honor the treaty.

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