French leaders pay tribute to Shimon Peres

Israel – Death of Shimon Peres – Statement by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic

Paris, 28 September 2016

With the passing of Shimon Peres, Israel loses one of its most illustrious statesmen, peace one of its most ardent defenders and France a loyal friend.

Shimon Peres is now part of the history which accompanied his long life.

He had a profound impact on the political life of Israel, in whose foundation he was actively involved alongside David Ben-Gurion. A member of many governments, several times Prime Minister and finally President from 2007 to 2014, Shimon Peres was Israel in the eyes of the world.

A man of peace, he received the Nobel Prize in 1994 alongside Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat just after the Oslo Accords, whose rationale he continually upheld, seeing the advent of a Palestinian state as the only guarantee of Israel having a future in a climate of security.

A visionary, he impressed those he met with his ability to propose bold initiatives and new ideas in order to move towards this ideal. He believed in sharing resources and technology and opening up communication routes to bring people closer together. I saw for myself during our last meeting on 25 March that his strength of conviction was undiminished.

On this sad day I extend my heartfelt sympathy to the Israeli people and my condolences to his family./.

Israel – Death of Shimon Peres – Statement by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development

Paris, 28 September 2016

I was greatly saddened to learn of the passing of Shimon Peres. I extend my condolences to his family, his close friends and the whole Israeli people.

Shimon Peres was one of the last representatives of Israel’s founding fathers. Throughout his political career, in which he held the most senior positions, he managed to embody an ideal: that of a State of Israel living in peace with its neighbours. The Nobel Prize he received in 1994 crowned the untiring efforts this statesman made – despite the difficulties – always to reaffirm the need for his country to give peace a chance.

Shimon Peres left his mark on history. His legacy is this culture of peace, this vision he upheld with unshakeable passion, which – today more than ever – remains an essential ideal for Israel and the whole region. May his example inspire those, in Israel and elsewhere, who have chosen to follow the path he marked out./.

publie le 28/09/2016

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