Egypt restores ambassador to Vatican

Egypt has asked its ambassador to the Vatican, Lamia Mekheimar, to resume work on 23 February, said Hossam Zaki, the  Egyptian Foreign Ministry's spokesperson.

Mekheimar was recalled for discussion in mid January, to protest Pope Benedict XVI statements calling for the protection of Egyptian Copts.

In a press statement, Zaki said that the Vatican's ambassador to Egypt had expressed the Vatican aspiration to turn over a new leaf with Egypt. He also said Egypt appreciates the many positive messages from several Vatican officials.

Pope Benedict XVI had called for the protection of Christians in Egypt and Iraq, and called on governments in the Middle East to protect their Christian minorities after two recent attacks that targeted Christians.

Twenty-three Copts were killed and scores injured  in an attack on the Church of St. Mark and St. Peter in Alexandria on New Year's Eve.

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