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  • marco.pertoni@libero.it
    MIDEAST: ISRAEL-EGYPT, 30 YEARS OF PEACE WITH UPS AND DOWN (by Giorgio Raccah) (ANSAmed) - JERUSALEM, MARCH 25 - Despite all the negative predictions, today
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 31, 2009

      (by Giorgio Raccah) (ANSAmed) - JERUSALEM, MARCH 25 - Despite all the negative predictions, today Israel and Egypt, although a little on the quiet, are celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the signing of the historic peace agreement that ended thirty years of war between the two countries. The peace that many predicted would be ephemeral has instead turned out to be long lasting, albeit with ups and downs including moments of extreme tension and ambassadors being recalled. The basic strategic interests that led the two states to bury the hatchet are still as valid today as they were thirty years ago. Israel celebrated the anniversary with a reception at the Foreign Ministry and a symposium at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in which both the Egyptian ambassador Yasser Reda and the Israeli ambassador to Cairo, Shalom Cohen, took part. In his speech the Egyptian diplomat stated that the peace treaty signed at the White House on March 26, 1979 by the "courageous" leaders from the two countries, President Anwar Sadat and Prime Minister Menachem Begin, was meant to have been the foundation for a general peace in the region and urged Israel to seize the Arab peace initiative to resolve the regional conflict. The initiative includes normalising relations between Israel and all the Arab states in exchange for Israel retreating from all the territories it occupied in the 1967 conflict, a fair and joint solution to the problem of the Palestinian refugees, and the formation of a Palestinian state next to the Israeli state. In a transparent reference to Iran, Reda said that solving the Palestinian conflict would thwart the aim of those fostering instability in the region. The participation of the Egyptian diplomat was in doubt until the last minute because Egypt had alluded to an eventual boycott due to the nomination of Avigdor Lieberman as the new Israeli Foreign Minister, guilty in Cairòs eyes of making hostile statements against Egypt and president Hosni Mubarak. The problem was resolved because the new government will be established next week. Ambassador Cohen declared that on a governmental level the contacts between the two countries are normal and continuous in the political, economic and military, as well as other spheres but pointed out at the same time that the spirit of dialogue has not filtered down to many levels of Egyptian society and that, in this aspect, the two countries remain distant. A lot remains to be done, he said, to bring the two peoples together. In Israel some compare the peace with Egypt to a cold peace, perhaps closer to a state of non-belligerence, and maintain that in international forums Cairòs policies remain hostile to the Jewish state and aligned with those of Arab countries. However, some answer that in thirty years no soldier from either country has been the victim of hostilities and that peace with the most important Arab country has irrevocably changed the regional panorama, and opened the way fifteen years later for the second peace treaty between Israel and an Arab state, Jordan, the start of official relations with other Arab states, and did away with the Arab taboo regarding peace with the Jewish state. (ANSAmed).
      2009-03-25 18:38

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