Singapore saddened by passing of Israel's ex-president Shimon Peres; President Tan and PM Lee send condolences: MFA

Israeli ex-president Shimon Peres in Tel Aviv on May 22, 2016.
Israeli ex-president Shimon Peres in Tel Aviv on May 22, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Singapore is saddened by the passing of Israeli ex-president Shimon Peres on Wednesday (Sept 28), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement.

Mr Peres, a joint winner of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize, died Wednesday (Sept 28) aged 93 after suffering a stroke. He was Israel's ninth president.

"The Government and people of Singapore would like to extend their deepest sympathy to the bereaved family, as well as to the Government and people of Israel during this period of grief," the MFA statement said.

Singapore's President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have also sent condolence letters to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu respectively.

In his letter, Dr Tan said: "Mr Peres was a respected global statesman and a long-serving leader".

He noted that Mr Peres "held almost every major public office, including serving as President, Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Defence Minister". "Even after retiring from a distinguished career in public service spanning over six decades, Mr Peres continued to travel widely to advocate for peace," he added.

"Mr Peres' passing is a great loss to the people of Israel and the international community, but his tireless pursuit of a better world will continue to inspire us," President Tan said.

Writing to Mr Netanyahu, Mr Lee said Mr Peres was a "visionary who worked tirelessly in the service of Israel and its people, long after retiring from politics".

Mr Lee said he had met Mr Peres on several occasions and benefitted from his experience and friendship.

Mr Lee recalled a visit to Israel in April when the prime minister called on Mr Peres at the Peres Centre of Peace, where he was received graciously.

"At his advanced age, he was still deeply concerned about how to bring peace to Israel and its neighbours. His mind was sharply focussed on science and education, firmly believing that this was the way to foster greater understanding between peoples," Mr Lee said.

Mr Lee called Mr Peres "a titan of his generation who has left a lasting legacy".

"He has inspired younger generations to continue to work for peace and reconciliation not just in Israel and the Middle East but across the world."