President Dalia Grybauskaitė

Shimon Peres’ legacy for Lithuania: sound and solid relations with Israel


Friday, 30 September, Jerusalem, Israel ‒ President Dalia Grybauskaitė attended the state funeral of Shimon Peres, former President of Israel and Nobel Peace Prize winner. She brought a pebble from Lithuania as a token of remembrance in accordance with the Jewish tradition.

Leaders from around the world came to pay their respects: U.S. President Barack Obama, President François Hollande of France, President Joachim Gauck of Germany, King Felipe VI of Spain, Prince Charles of Great Britain, President Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine, the presidents of Mexico, Ukraine and Georgia, the prime ministers of Australia and Canada, heads of the UN, NATO and the EU, and many other international dignitaries.

“Israel lost its founding father, the world lost a great peacemaker and visionary, and Lithuania lost a close friend and countryman. Shimon Peres thought way ahead of his time. He always underscored that there was no other alternative to peace. He spared no personal effort to end the bloody conflict and create peace with other Middle East nations through dialogue,” the President said.

Dalia Grybauskaitė warmly remembered her meetings and conversations with Shimon Peres in Vilnius in 2013 and in Tel Aviv in 2015. Back then, the two leaders talked about the many similarities existing between Israel and Lithuania. The former Israeli President stressed more than once that people constituted the greatest asset of any state; therefore investment in their education, knowledge, and talents was paramount. Shimon Peres saw creative and talented people in Israel as well as in Lithuania. He wanted to strengthen bilateral relations through the development of technologies of the future.

Shimon Peres was a Litvak and an honorary citizen of Vilnius. He was born in 1923 near Vilnius, in Vishneva, Poland (now Belarus). The former President largely contributed to strengthening bilateral relations between Israel and Lithuania – which are now at their best since the beginning of regained independence. Shimon Peres was awarded the Great Cross of the Order of Merits to Lithuania in recognition of his contribution to the strengthening of relations between Lithuania and Israel.

In 1994, Shimon Peres shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. He received the award for his personal efforts in the negotiations with Palestinians, resulting in the Declaration of Principles signed in the White House in Washington on 13 September 1993, which was designed as the foundation stone of the peace process in the Middle East.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2016.09.30 13:32