Dharamshala – In a letter to the Director of the Peres Peace House, His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama expressed his sadness about the passing away of Shimon Peres, one of Israel's best-known and lauded statesmen.
The 93-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winer, passed away on September 28, 2016, two weeks after suffering a major stroke. The news of the outspoken voice for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, prompted an outpouring of tributes from across the world.
In a letter to the Director of the Peres Peace House His Holiness the Dalai Lama wrote that he had been saddened to learn that Shimon Peres had passed away following a recent stroke. He added:
"I offer my prayers for him and convey my condolences to the members of his family at this difficult time.
"Mr. Peres and I met on several occasions in different places over the years, the last being Jordan in 2006 when we were attending a conference of Nobel Laureates and other thinkers addressing global concerns.
"I admired his efforts to promote peace between Israel and Palestine, which actually did lead to the historic Oslo Peace Accords of 1993."
Noting that Peres often spoke of the importance of compromise, he quoted him once saying that as the Palestinians were Israel's "closest neighbours" they might become its "closest friends."
The spiritual leader of Tibet concluded:
"I pray that this may soon come true."
Efforts to memorialize this constantly transforming man swept across the globe, from his work in the 1990s on the Oslo peace talk meant to establish a Palestinian nation alongside Israel to his vision of a "New Middle East" — all to acknowledge the more than seven decades Peres spent in public service.
Peres was the architect of the Oslo Accords, which gave the Palestinians autonomy in parts of the West Bank and Gaza. He shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat.
Peres retired from public office in 2014 after the end of his seven-year term as President. In Israeli politics for more than half a century, he held virtually every position in Cabinet, from minister of defense to Prime Minister, a position he held three times.
Peres's political career stretched across seven decades and he was a constant presence in Israeli public life from before the founding of the Jewish state in 1948 until well into the 21st century.
After leaving office in 2014 he remained in the public eye, continuing his work for peace in the Middle East. After his retirement, he devoted his time to the Peres Center for Peace, an organization that works to build better ties between Israelis and Palestinians.
Born in Wisniew, Poland, in 1923, Peres moved to British-mandate Palestine in 1932, where his story became the story of modern day Israel.