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Prominent Israeli peace negotiator Uri Savir dies at 69
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TEL AVIV, Israel — Uri Savir, a prominent Israeli peace negotiator and strong supporter of the need for a settlement with the Palestinians, has died, according to Israeli media. He was 69 years old.

Reports say he died on Friday. No cause of death was given.

As director of the country’s foreign ministry, Savir led an Israeli delegation to negotiate a series of interim agreements with the Palestinians in 1993, known as the Oslo Accords.

The agreements created the Palestinian Authority and set up self-government zones in the Palestinian territories.

It also produced broken promises, outbursts of violence and two failed attempts to broker a final peace deal, legacies that left its architects with a mixed legacy in both Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Although hopes for a Palestinian state have since faded, Savir remained committed to the vision of a two-state solution until the end.

He has often called himself the region’s “last optimist” and has stayed in touch with his former Palestinian counterparts.

He also founded a Facebook group, “YaLa Young Leaders,” which brought together young Israelis and Arabs from across the region for online discussions and lessons on peace and coexistence. The group has more than 800,000 followers.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Savir was “fighting for a different Middle East”.

“His contribution to Israel is enormous and is felt to this day,” he tweeted.

Savir was a close adviser to the late former Israeli leader Shimon Peres, a driving force behind the peace negotiations, and would go on to help found and direct the Peres Center for Peace and Innovation, which promotes cooperation between peoples of the Middle East.

Savir also briefly served as a legislator in the Israeli parliament.


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