Tributes pour in for Nobel laureate and former Israeli president Shimon Peres

Former Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres died at the age of 93 on Sept 28, 2016.
Former Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres died at the age of 93 on Sept 28, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Nobel laureate and former Israeli president Shimon Peres, who died on Wednesday (Sept 28) aged 93, left an indelible mark on world affairs. Here is a selection of international tributes paid to one of Israel's best-loved elder statesmen.

US President Barack Obama

"There are few people who we share this world with who change the course of human history, not just through their role in human events, but because they expand our moral imagination and force us to expect more of ourselves. My friend Shimon was one of those people.

"Perhaps because he had seen Israel surmount overwhelming odds, Shimon never gave up on the possibility of peace between Israelis, Palestinians and Israel's neighbours."

Former US president Bill Clinton

"The Middle East has lost a fervent advocate for peace and reconciliation and for a future where all the children of Abraham build a better tomorrow.

"He was a genius with a big heart who used his gifts to imagine a future of reconciliation not conflict, economic and social empowerment not anger and frustration, and a nation, a region, and a world enhanced by caring and sharing, not torn asunder by the illusions of permanent dominance and perfect truth."

 

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon

"He worked tirelessly for a two-state solution that would enable Israel to live securely and harmoniously with the Palestinians and the wider region.

"Even in the most difficult hours, he remained an optimist about the prospects for reconciliation and peace."

Tony Blair, Former British Prime Minister and former special envoy to the Middle East Quartet

"Shimon Peres was a political giant, a statesman who will rank as one of the foremost of this era or any era, and someone I loved deeply."

French President Francois Hollande

"Shimon Peres now belongs to history, which was his companion during his long life.

"With the death of Shimon Peres, Israel has lost one of its most illustrious statesmen, and peace one of its most ardent defenders."

Former US president George Bush

"By his unyielding determination and principle, Shimon Peres time and again helped guide his beloved country through the crucible of mortal challenge. But it was by his innate humanity, his decency, that Shimon inspired the world over and helped pave a path to peace broad enough that future generations will walk it one day, side by side."

Russian President Vladimir Putin

"I was lucky enough to have the chance to speak with this remarkable person many times. Every time I admired his courage and patriotism, his wisdom and vision, his ability to grasp the essence of the most difficult issues."

German President Joachim Gauck

"Shimon Peres marked Israel like no other politician. He served his country in different roles with solid principles when it concerned Israel's security and a strong will when it was about advancing the peace process with the Palestinians."