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It was with deep sorrow that have I learned last night of the passing of Shimon Peres. Minister, Prime Minister and President of Israel, Mr. Peres was a statesman who, as I said when I hosted him in São Paulo in 2009, embodied the history of his country. Active in politics since before the founding of the State of Israel, he has always believed in democracy and dialogue as the way to solve national and international problems. Thus, he was the personification of the quest for peace, in Israel and worldwide.

As a tireless advocate of Israel, President Peres never gave up seeking peace between his country and the Arab neighbors. Along with Yitzhak Rabin, he negotiated the Oslo Accords with Yasser Arafat, which earned the three of them the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994. As prime minister and president, he has always sought to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with a view to ensure the existence of the two States, living side by side in peace and safety.

At this moment of sorrow, I extend to all Israelis my condolences for the death of one of the greatest statesmen of the last decades.

José Serra
Minister of Foreign Affairs 

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