The Most Ancient Lesson in Peacemaking

AMONG THE OLDEST PEACE treaties in history is the Treaty of Kadesh, which was negotiated between the Egyptian and Hittite empires over three thousand years ago, in the middle of the 13th century BCE With neither party willing to continue incurring the costs of war, and with each side wary of looming conflict with its other neighbors, Pharaoh Ramesses II and King Hattusili III sought to negotiate an end to the conflict. Such attempts are difficult not only because the issues at stake may be contentious or complex, but because, often, neither side wants to make the first move. The side that comes asking for peace may look weak rather than wise or magnanimous, a signal that no leader can afford ...

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