Wednesday, 9 September 2020

Zeman: Peres was hope for peaceful Middle East

ČTK |
29 September 2016

Prague, Sept 28 (CTK) - Former President of Israel Shimon Peres was a hope for a fair and peaceful Middle East, Czech President Milos Zeman wrote to his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin in the letter of condolence on Peres' death on Wednesday.

Zeman praised Peres's effort to find a way towards the settlement of relations between Israel and Palestine.

Peres was one of the most outstanding statesmen and politicians of this time, he added.

"With all of his life, Peres became a symbol of not only the State of Israel, but also a hope for a new, fair and peaceful Middle East," Zeman wrote.

Peres was the last politician in Israel to connect the current political scene with the generation of the founders of the Jewish state, former Czech ambassador to Israel Tomas Pojar told CTK on Wednesday.

In the role of president, Peres became a symbol of Israel's modern history both inside and outside the country, he added.

He highly esteemed former president Vaclav Havel and as a man originating from Poland he had a natural relationship to Central Europe, Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic, he added.

The Czech government will be represented at Peres' state funeral on Friday by Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (Social Democrats, CSSD), Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka (CSSD) said on Wednesday.

Senate chairman Milan Stech (CSSD) will attend the funeral, too. Zeman asked him to do so, Senate spokesman Eva Davidova said.

The composition of the delegation is being dealt with, but Zeman will not be there as he is now on a visit to Greece, Zeman's spokesman Jiri Ovcacek told CTK.

Sobotka said the Middle East needed such politicians as Peres to put an end to violence and religious fundamentalism.

He was an outstanding personality of the whole Middle East region, Sobotka said.

"We need the people able to break the vicious circle of prejudices, hatred and religious fundamentalism that appears in the area and prevents the situation from calming down," Sobotka said.

"He was one of the founders of the State of Israel. Throughout his life, he was relentlessly building the State of Israel," he added.

"He insisted on finding a permanent peaceful arrangement between Israel and Palestinians. For this, he received the Peace Nobel Prize," Sobotka said.

Peres was a politician of peace and vision, Zaoralek said, calling Peres a real statesman.

"He knew that the existence of a state cannot be only based on strength and he became a real statesman. There are few such statesmen in the world," Zaoralek said.

"He represented the life of Israel from its very beginning," Zaoralek said.

Peres died at the age of 93 earlier on Wednesday.

His state funeral will be attended by U.S. President Barack Obama, former U.S. president Bill Clinton with his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and British Prince Charles.

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