Kenyatta Mourns Death of Ex Israel Leader, Shimon Peres

Israeli President Shimon Peres seen during a meeting with Argentinian Foreign Minister, Hector Timerman, at the President's residence in Jerusalem, on Monday, April 28, 2014. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has paid a special tribute to departed former Israel President Shimon Peres, cheapest 93, visit describing the deceased as a “man of courage” and “peacemaker.”

Born in 1923 in Poland, Peres was the last of Israel’s founding fathers.

He succumbed to a stroke on Wednesday morning.

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Kenyatta said, “in this moment of sorrow, my thoughts and prayers go out to his family, and to Israel, the country which he fought so hard to establish, which he served with such distinction, and which he was eventually elected to lead.”

Kenyatta, who early this year met with Peres in Israel, added: “I last saw him a few months ago. He was full of vigour, and he dispensed good advice, gleaned from half a century of public service.”

Peres was an influential figure in the formation and consolidation of the Israel state, having worked from behind the scenes under founding father David Ben Gurion to develop the country’s nuclear defence facilities and spearhead peace agreements with neighbouring Arab states.

He served in several high profile positions as Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs Minister and Defence minister among others.


Kenyatta said he learned much from Peres’ advocacy for peace and reconciliation – advocacy which was recognised with the award of a Nobel Peace Prize.

“I also learned from his resolute defence of democracy against the forces of extremism and terror,” said Kenyatta.

“I will remember him as a man of courage: never afraid to fight for what was right; always ready to make peace when the time was right.”

Several heads of state including Barack Obama are expected to attend President Peres’ funeral ceremony on Friday at Mount Herzel Cemetery in Jerusalem.

This area is reserved for Israel’s founding fathers.

Other world leaders expected at the event include UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

Kenyatta said, “Israel has lost a statesman. On behalf of the people of Kenya, I pray that God will grant his family and his nation the strength to bear the loss.”

President Shimon Peres was Israel’s ninth President from 2007 to 2014.


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