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Netanyahu calls Peres ‘great man of the world’ in funeral eulogy

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech during the funeral of former Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl national cemetery on September 30, 2016. Peres's death on September 28 at age 93 after suffering a major stroke triggered an outpouring of grief and tributes that hailed the Israeli ex-president's transformation from hawk to fervent peace advocate. / AFP PHOTO / Thomas COEX

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech during the funeral of former Israeli president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl national cemetery on September 30, 2016.<br />Peres’s death on September 28 at age 93 after suffering a major stroke triggered an outpouring of grief and tributes that hailed the Israeli ex-president’s transformation from hawk to fervent peace advocate. / AFP PHOTO / Thomas COEX

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres as a “great man of the world” on Friday and promised there would be peace as he eulogised him at his funeral.

“Shimon lived a life of purpose,” Netanyahu told world leaders and other mourners gathered at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl cemetery of the man who was once his political rival.

“He soared to incredible heights. He was a great man of Israel; he was a great man of the world. Israel grieves for him, the world grieves for him, but we find hope in his legacy, as does the world.”

He recalled a late-night discussion between them in which they debated Israel’s future.

“He said that peace was true security — if there is peace, there will be security,” Netanyahu said of the former prime minister and president who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating the Oslo accords with the Palestinians.

“I told him, ‘Shimon, in the Middle East, security is an essential condition for peace, and for the establishment of peace’ … My friends, you know what surprising conclusion I came to? We were both right.”

Later, Netanyahu said “there will be peace, Shimon, dear man, exceptional leader. I tell you that from the bottom of my heart.”



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