JERUSALEM (AP) — Shimon Peres was laid to rest Friday by dozens of world leaders who praised Israel's former president and prime minister for pursuing peace with an indefatigable spirit and optimism, even though his vision of a "new Middle East" was never fulfilled.
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TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Pope Francis issued a vague rebuke to Russia on Friday and received an unexpectedly warm welcome from the leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church as he mixed geopolitics with religion on the first day of a three-day trip to the Caucasus.
The death of Nobel laureate Shimon Peres led to a surge of nostalgia in Israel over his peace efforts, but his ideals have become increasingly absent from the country's political scene. The former president and prime minister won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize for his role in negotiating the Oslo accords with the Palestinians and spent the latter years of his life defending his pursuit of the goals they represented. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government is seen as the most right-wing in Israel's history, and key members of his coalition say openly that they oppose a Palestinian state.
World leaders bid farewell to Israeli elder statesman and Nobel Peace laureate Shimon Peres at his funeral in Jerusalem Friday, with US President Barack Obama hailing him as a giant of the 20th century. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was among the mourners at Mount Herzl national cemetery and sat in the front row, reportedly at the request of Peres's family. Abbas knew Peres well and negotiated with him.
By Philip Pullella and Margarita Antidze TBILISI (Reuters) – Pope Francis called for respect for international law and the sovereign rights of nations as he arrived in Georgia on Friday, an implicit criticism of Russia, which keeps troops in two breakaway areas of the ex-Soviet state. Russia, which fought a short war with Georgia in 2008, is one of the few countries that recognize the contested areas of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent states. Speaking at the welcoming ceremony at the presidential palace, Francis, in a clear reference to the Georgian situation, said relations between states in the region "can never lay aside respect for the sovereign rights of every country within the framework of international law".
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday likened his deadly crime war to Hitler's efforts to exterminate Jews, as he declared he was "happy to slaughter" millions of drug addicts. Duterte also railed against Western critics of his unprecedented law-and-order crackdown, which has left more than 3,000 people dead in three months and raised concerns about a breakdown in the rule of law in one of Asia's most chaotic democracies. "Hitler massacred three million Jews.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas shakes hands with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres.
From his hometown in Belarus, through his elementary school and youth village, to the kibbutz he worked at as a shepherd, the former president receives an emotional farewell from many people who knew him before he occupied Israel’s most prestigious roles.