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President Shimon Peres, the last of Israel’s founders still in public life, has paid an emotional tribute to Ariel Sharon, known to Israelis as Arik.“Ariel Sharon was a great architect and outstanding defender of his state. He turned the tides of the Yom Kippur war from an initial menace to a surprising victory. He paved the way to peace with Egypt.“He knew no fear, he took difficult decisions and he implemented them courageously.”Peres added: “In the earlier years and throughout we kept our friendship in the most moving way. I shall miss him dearly and remember him lovingly.“Our heart is with his family, who stood by his side day and night until the last moment. May he rest in peace.”