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In PHOTOS: 8 HISTORIC handshakes of our times

Last updated on: July 5, 2012 10:15 IST

In PHOTOS: 8 HISTORIC handshakes of our times

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Handshakes are a symbol of peace and goodwill, but only a few have created history. Rediff.com brings you a collection of historic handshakes.

File photo of former United States President Clinton with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organisation Chairman Yasser Arafat after the signing of the Israeli-PLO peace accord, at the White House.

The Oslo Accords, officially called the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements or Declaration of Principles, was an attempt to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

One of the major continuing issues within the wider Arab-Israeli conflict, it was the first direct, face-to-face agreement between the government of Israel and the PLO. It was intended to be the one framework for future negotiations and relations between the Israeli government and Palestinians, within which all outstanding 'final status issues' between the two sides would be addressed and resolved.

Negotiations concerning the agreements, an outgrowth of the Madrid Conference of 1991, were conducted secretly in Oslo, Norway, hosted by the Fafo institute, and completed on August 20, 1993; the Accords were subsequently officially signed at a public ceremony in Washington, DC on September 13, 1993.

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Photographs: Photograph: Gary Hershorn/Reuters

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth shakes hands with Northern Ireland deputy first minister Martin McGuinness, watched by first minister Peter Robinson (centre) at the Lyric Theatre in Belfast.

Queen Elizabeth shook the hand of former Irish Republican Army commander McGuinness for the first time last week, drawing a line under a conflict that cost the lives of thousands of soldiers and civilians, including that of her cousin.

Picture taken on June 27, 2012.

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Photographs: Paul Faith/Reuters

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South African President F W de Klerk (left) and African National Congress Deputy-President Nelson Mandela, agreed after 15 hours of talks on August 7, 1990 to suspend its armed struggle against white rule.

To demonstrate good faith toward African leaders, and to remove any justification for further insurrection, de Klerk made a number of dramatic announcements. The ban on the ANC and other organisations was lifted, political prisoners would be freed, various security regulations abolished, and Mandela was released.

He also called on all leaders and the international community to support 'the dynamic evolution which is taking place in South Africa'.

In 1993, de Klerk and Mandela were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work ending apartheid.

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Photographs: Juda Ngwenya/Reuters

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South Korean President Kim Dae-jung (left) links hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il (right) during a farewell luncheon at Baekhwawon State Guest House in Pyongyang. Before the handshake, they had never even spoken on the phone before.

Kim, a towering figure in South Korea's struggle for democracy who won the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize for seeking rapprochement with the communist North, died on August 18, 2009 at the age of 85.

Photo taken on June 15, 2000.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (right) as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on at the State Department in Washington.

The leaders met to discuss a peace deal, but media reported that there were no sign of progress toward breaking a deadlock.

They had agreed to meet again, within two weeks of this meeting, on September 20, but the meeting didn't happen, because of mutual differences.

Picture taken on September 2, 2010.


Photographs: Jim Young/Reuters

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Undated photo showing former US President Ronald Reagan at his first meeting with former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in Geneva, Switzerland.  The two leaders met to hold talks on international diplomatic relations and the arms race.

Reagan, who forged a conservative revolution that transformed American politics, died on June 5, 2004 after a decade-long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Gorbachev later said, "We viewed the Geneva meeting realistically, without grand expectations, yet we hoped to lay the foundations for a serious dialogue in the future."

Reagan's goal was to convince Gorbachev that America desired peace above all else. Reagan described his hopes for the summit as a 'mission for peace'. The first thing Reagan said to Gorbachev was, "The United States and the Soviet Union are the two greatest countries on earth, the superpowers. They are the only ones who can start World War 3, but also the only two countries that could bring peace to the world".

The two leaders held similar meetings over the next few years to further discuss the topics. Gorbachev then held summits with George H W Bush after the latter became president.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou (left) and Turkish Prime Minister Turgut Ozal shake hands during the 1986 Davos Management Symposium in Davos, Switzerland.

The two prime ministers spoke during the week-long forum on the world economy to 600 top businessmen and government officials. Pictured in center is symposium chairman Gaston Thorn.

The leaders shook hands, but did not discuss issues such as Cyprus, which was a bone of contention between the two countries.

The Cyprus dispute is the result of the ongoing conflict between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey, over the Turkish occupied northern part of Cyprus.

Initially, with the annexation of the island by the British Empire, the 'Cyprus dispute' was identified as the conflict between the people of Cyprus and the British Crown regarding the Cypriots' demand for self determination.

The dispute however was finally shifted from a colonial dispute to an ethnic dispute between the Turkish and the Greek islanders.

Picture taken on February 1, 1986.

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Photographs: Michael Kupferschmidt/Reuters

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Republican Henry Hyde, chairman of the US House of Representatives' International Relations Committee (right), views an exhibition in Shanghai.

The exhibition, called 'Journeys to Peace and Cooperation', showcases the 30th anniversary of US President Richard Nixon's historic visit to China in 1972.

Hyde urged China to pressure old ally Pyongyang into halting its nuclear weapons programmes. The photograph shows Chinese Chairman Mao Zedong meeting President Nixon.

Photograph taken on December 11, 2002.


Photographs: Claro Cortes IV CC/Reuters

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