FILE - In this June 13, 2012, file photo, President Barack Obama awards Israeli President Shimon Peres with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. (AP)

Shimon Peres, former Israel president, dies at 93

The longtime politician was a key member of the Israel-Palestine peace process


THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 28, 2016 3:14PM (UTC)

JERUSALEM — Former Israeli President Shimon Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and elder statesman of Israeli politics, has died, the Israeli news website YNet is reporting. He was 93.

Peres' condition worsened following a major stroke two weeks ago.

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He was one of the country's most admired leaders at home and abroad and the last surviving link to Israel's founding fathers.

He filled nearly every position in Israeli public life in an unprecedented seven-decade political career.

He was credited with leading the country through some of its most defining moments, from creating its nuclear arsenal in the 1950s to guiding a skeptical nation into peace talks with the Palestinians in the 1990s. He earned the Nobel Peace Prize for his key role in those peace negotiations.

Quotes from around the world after the death of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and elder statesman of Israeli politics, at age 93.

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"A light has gone out, but the hope he gave us will burn forever. Shimon Peres was a 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, and in the legacy that we leave to others. For the gift of his friendship and the example of his leadership, todah rabah, Shimon."? — President Barack Obama

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"With the passing of Shimon Peres, Israel has lost a leader who championed its security, prosperity, and limitless possibilities from its birth to his last day on earth. 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 together. And Hillary and I have lost a true and treasured friend.

"I'll never forget how happy he was 23 years ago when he signed the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn, heralding a more hopeful era in Israeli-Palestinian relations. 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. His critics called him a dreamer. That he was — a lucid, eloquent dreamer until the very end. Thank goodness. Let those of us who loved him and love his nation keep his dream alive." — Former President Bill Clinton

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"Barbara and I join Shimon Peres' countless admirers around the world in saluting his singular life of service — to the universal cause of freedom, to the timeless cause of Israel, to the noblest cause of peace. 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." — Former President George H. W. Bush

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"Laura and I join the people of Israel and those around the world in mourning the death of Shimon Peres. As a young man, he worked for his country's independence. For the rest of his life, he led it with a deep and abiding concern for his people and a commitment to freedom and peace. The Bush family will miss Shimon Peres and his grace, dignity, and optimism." — Former President George W. Bush

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"On behalf of the entire New York Jewish community, we deeply mourn the passing of Shimon Peres, one of the greatest Jewish leaders of our time. President Peres was one of the extraordinary visionaries of our age, a towering Zionist hero of deep courage who devoted his life to serving and defending Israel and the Jewish people." — Eric S. Goldstein, CEO, UJA-Federation of New York.

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"The world has lost a true legend and statesman. Shimon Peres was a gift to the country he helped establish and lead, and a persistent voice for the cause of peace. President Peres' countless contributions to the world earned him the Nobel Peace Prize, Congressional Gold Medal, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. While we join the State of Israel and people around the globe in mourning his death, we also give thanks for his incredible life." — U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan

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"Shimon Peres' story was the story of modern Israel — a saga of daring, dynamism and wisdom. With all of his heart, this farmer, fighter, author, Nobel Peace Prize winner, prime minister and president worked to guide his nation into a secure and confident future. I valued his friendship. He was an intellectual resource who personified the unbreakable bond between the United States and Israel." — House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

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The following world figures will attend Shimon Peres' funeral in Jerusalem on Friday, according to Israel's Foreign Ministry:

— U.S. President Barack Obama

— Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton

— U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry

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— Britain's Prince Charles

— Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau

— French President Francois Hollande

— German President Joachim Gauck

— Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto

— Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

 


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