updated 2/16/2005 3:01:38 AM ET 2005-02-16T08:01:38

Jordan said Wednesday that its ambassador to Israel will return to his post on Sunday, setting the stage for the normalization of diplomatic relations between the nations after a four-year break.

The decision was made by Jordan’s Cabinet late Tuesday and follows the recent Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire secured during a summit in Egypt attended by Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

“Mr. Marouf al-Bakhit will be in his office in Tel Aviv on Sunday,” Jordanian government spokeswoman Asma Khader said.

Jordan and Egypt, the only Arab states that have signed peace treaties with Israel, downgraded representation after the September 2000 outbreak of a Palestinian uprising, protesting what they said was Israel’s excessively forceful response.

Jordan had formally asked Israel last week to approve its nomination of al-Bakhit, who is currently serving as the kingdom’s envoy to Turkey. Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom’s office said a swift approval was expected.

Egypt is also expected to return its ambassador to Israel.

The last Jordanian ambassador to Israel, Abdul-Illah al-Kurdi, was named in August 2000, but never took up his post in view of the Palestinian-Israeli violence that ensued.

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