Shimon Peres was one of the great peacemakers of our time - FW de Klerk

2016-09-28 21:55
Shimon Peres. (File, AP)

Shimon Peres. (File, AP)

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Johannesburg - Former president FW de Klerk hailed Israeli former president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres as one of the greatest peacemakers of our time. 

In a statement, De Klerk said Peres worked tirelessly to promote harmonious relations between Israelis and Palestinians.

"Together with Yitzhak Rabin, he was one of the great peacemakers of our time. He worked tirelessly to promote harmonious relations between Israelis and Palestinians and continued throughout his life and also in his old age to inspire new generations with his vision of reconciliation, justice and peaceful coexistence... He understood that the best guarantee for the long-term security of Israel was the promotion of justice and equity for all."

Peres died on Wednesday, his personal doctor told AFP, about two weeks after suffering a major stroke.

The 93-year-old died in his sleep at around 03:00 (midnight GMT), Rafi Walden, who is also Peres's son-in-law, told AFP.

He died surrounded by family members, a source close to Peres told AFP.

Former hawk turned dove

Peres had been in hospital near Tel Aviv since September 13 when he was admitted feeling unwell. He suffered a stroke and internal bleeding while at the hospital. 

He held nearly every major office in the country, serving twice as prime minister and also as president, a mostly ceremonial role, from 2007 to 2014.

He won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for his role in negotiating the Oslo Accords, which envisioned an independent Palestinian state.

The former hawk turned dove was widely respected both in Israel and abroad.

After suffering the stroke he received an outpouring of support from across the world, including from Pope Francis, US President Barack Obama, the Clinton family, Donald Trump, Britain's ex-premier Tony Blair and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Peres had been "tireless in seeking peace between Israelis and Palestinians".

Read more on:    fw de klerk  |  shimon peres  |  israel

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