Friday, 30 September 2016

World leaders mourn Former Isreali President Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres the former Isreali President died on Wednesday at the age of 93.
Current and former world leaders mourned the passing of Israeli statesman Shimon Peres on Wednesday, praising him as a visionary who committed his life to the elusive goal of lasting peace in the Middle East.
President Barack Obama described Peres as "soldier for Israel, for the Jewish people, for justice, for peace, and for the belief that we can be true to our best selves — to the very end of our time on Earth."

"Todah rabah, Shimon," Obama said, using the Hebrew for thank you.

Peres,  was awarded the 1994 Nobel Prize after he secretly helped broker the historic Oslo interim peace accords with the Palestinians a year earlier. He shared the prize with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Former President Bill Clinton recalled Peres' joy 23 years ago when he signed the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn, ushering in an optimistic moment in Israeli-Palestinian relations.

"His critics called him a dreamer. That he was — a lucid, eloquent dreamer until the very end. Thank goodness," Clinton said in a joint statement with his wife, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. "Let those of us who loved him and love his nation keep his dream alive."

ABC reports that Peres, who served in the largely ceremonial role of president
from 2007 to 2014, represented a moderate face of Israel after the more hawkish Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took office in 2009.

Peres sought to reassure the international community that Israel seeks peace despite stalled negotiations under Netanyahu, who said Peres "taught us never to give in to despair, but to cling to hope."

Peres remained active at his peace center, which sponsored programs promoting Israeli-Arab coexistence, until weeks before his death.

"Though he grew older, his spirit never did," said former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who also worked as a Mideast peace envoy.

"Even in the most difficult hours, he remained an optimist about the prospects for reconciliation and peace," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said.

Many world leaders arrived Israel to bid the elder statesman a final Farewell.


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