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Statement by the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, on death of Shimon Peres

 

I learned with sadness of the death of Shimon Peres, former Prime Minister and President of Israel, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

On behalf of the people of Ireland, I offer my condolences on the passing of a man who believed that the purpose of life was to "find a cause that's larger than yourself and then to give your life to it." This is exactly what Peres did, in serving the State of Israel for over 66 years as a Member of the Knesset, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prime Minister and President.

Peres’ political career was as illustrious as it was long, and included many noteworthy achievements. Perhaps his greatest, though, was his role in negotiating the Oslo Accords with Israel’s Palestinian neighbours, who Peres hoped, would also become “our closest friends”. For these efforts he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994, along with Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin.

With Peres’ passing, Israel has lost one of its greatest statesmen. At the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony, the laureates were praised for having “not only shown that a road to reconciliation can be found, but also very bravely taken several steps down that road.” I hope that Peres’ legacy, along with that of Arafat and Rabin, will continue to inspire both Israelis and Palestinians leaders, as they continue on the road to reconciliation.