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Oslo negotiator recalls ‘Fellini’ moment with Shimon Peres

AFP archive | Shimon Peres joins an Israeli dance troupe in traditional folk dances in Tel Aviv on September 2003

On a secret visit to Morocco, former Israeli president Shimon Peres asked if it was possible to go and see a dance show. An impossible request, a former Israeli negotiator said, so the show was brought to him.

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Yossi Beilin, who initiated the Oslo Process (that would lead to the establishment of the Palestinian Authority), told FRANCE 24 his former boss was a “workaholic” who also “liked to dance and entertain”.

Recounting the visit to Morocco, he said a 20-piece dancing group was brought to their hotel in Marrakech when security advisors baulked at the idea of the Israeli leader visiting a club during the secret visit.

“It was like a Fellini movie,” he said. “There were just the two of us in the room, watching this group of 20 dancers and musicians.”

Peres, who died aged 93 on Wednesday, was “a combination of somebody who loved to work and did not go on any vacations, but didn’t give up on the nice things in life”.

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