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Ties with Tunis Warming Up

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In the latest sign of warming ties between Israel and Tunisia, Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres recently wrote a letter of holiday greeting to the president of the North African Muslim nation.

The letter, in which Peres said he prays “to the Almighty that all children of Abraham may live in peace and fraternity in our region,” is believed to be the first such high-level correspondence between the two countries.

The letter to President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali came at the end of the monthlong Ramadan holiday.

After several fits and starts, Israel and Tunisia agreed last month to establish low-level diplomatic relations by exchanging interest sections. Tunisia will open an interest section in Gaza as well.

“The two nations are on track for the opening of offices in Tunis, Tel Aviv and Gaza” in the coming weeks, said Jason Isaacson, director of government and international affairs for the American Jewish Committee in Washington.

The letter, he said, “is a warm, personal greeting which bespeaks a very positive development in the relationship.”

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