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JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel’s parliament is holding a special session to mark 40 years since the historic visit of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

Sadat’s 1977 address to the Knesset is credited with paving a path for peace between the countries. Two years later Israel and Egypt signed a formal peace accord and Israel withdrew from the Sinai Peninsula it had captured in the 1967 war. They have maintained quiet but close security ties since. Israel later made peace with Jordan too.

Sadat’s visit came just four years after Israel and Egypt fought a bitter war that claimed thousands of casualties.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein opened the event, which was attended by Egyptian ambassador to Israel Hazem Khairat. He called the Sadat address “groundbreaking.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is to address the plenum later.