Ilves offers condolences to Israel following death of former president Shimon Peres
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves sent a letter to his Israeli counterpart Reuven Rivlin on Wednesday expressing his condolences following the death of Israel’s former president Shimon Peres.
In his letter, Ilves honored Peres as a founder of the State of Israel and as an influential and exceptional leader that had worked for the wellbeing and the peace of all the people in the Middle East. Ilves also recalled Peres’ visit to Estonia in 2007 on the occasion of the opening of Tallinn’s new synagogue.
Shimon Peres (1923-2016) was an enormously influential figure in the history of Israel. He played a role in nearly every significant event since the foundation of the country, and his political career spanned 66 years.
Peres’ involvement in Israeli politics began during the Israeli War of Independence, during which he held different military and diplomatic positions. In 1953 Peres became director-general of the country’s defense ministry at the age of just 29.
During his political career, Peres was a member of 12 cabinets and served as prime minister twice. He was a member of five political parties and chairman of two of them. The last party he was a member of, Kadima, nominated him as its presidential candidate in 2007. He was elected for a seven-year term, and at the time he retired in 2014 was the world’s oldest head of state.
Shimon Peres died on September 28 after he had been hospitalized for two weeks following a severe stroke.