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Egyptians Searching for an Embassy

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Nine Egyptian diplomats spent a hectic day here in search of a location for the Egyptian Embassy. Although they liked some of the premises they saw, they indicated it would probably take a week “until we find the best.”

The delegation is headed by Hassan Abdul Sammad Kamel, a pleasant career diplomat who holds the rank of Ambassador in the Egyptian Foreign Ministry. It was escorted by two senior officials of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. The tour guides were real estate agents, representing two of Tel Aviv’s most prestigious firms.

“We are not looking for anything specific,” Kamel told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, “merely for something that will fit our needs.” The delegation spent a long time at an apartment hotel on Hayarkon Street, the Tel Aviv hotel area, close to the Sheraton and the Hilton, only a few yards away from one of the most popular beaches.

They were offered two floors, each comprising 13 flats. But the Egyptian diplomat wasn’t sure how many members the diplomatic mission would have and at this stage he did not know how many rooms were needed.

The Egyptians will search later for a suitable private residence for the Ambassador and the diplomatic staff. The Ambassador probably will live either in Kfar Shemaryahu or in the Herzliya Pitua section, the latter being the residence of U.S. Ambassador Samuel Lewis and many other diplomats. Kfar Shemaryahu has the only American school in the country. The Egyptians reportedly were interested in the availability of such schools, although it is believed that for the time being families will not accompany the diplomats.

There is a shortage of houses suitable for ambassadors, one agent said. Such houses must have at least three bedrooms as well as proper lodging for the house staff. An ambassador’s house also must have at least a quarter-acre plot. Current rentals in the Israeli housing market are between $2,000-$3,000 a month. The Egyptians expressed no interest in purchasing permanent housing.

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