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Hopeful anniversary

A year is not much in the history of the Arabs and the Jews, but we cannot overlook this week's first anniversary of the exchange of ambassadors between Egypt and Israel. It was a powerful symbolic step in the normalization of relations that had once seemed so unlikely. It was part of a process showing that even the most deeply rooted human conflicts can be moved toward resolution.

Nobody needs reminding of the vicissitudes affecting the process in the past 12 months.Nor of a recurring criticism that the peace between these two countries, with its conspicuous delays on the Palestinian issue, has been a damaging diversion from achieving a comprehensive regional settlement.

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But there is hope in the fact that old animosities could be overcome to the extent represented by the present diplomatic anniversary. A renewal of the determination and good faith that brought such significant change after all the rigid years of hostility -- this can bring further reasons to celebrate in the future.

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