Former Israeli President Shimon Peres eulogized Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, who died Friday at the age of 90.
Peres, who is in Davos for the World Economic Forum, remembered the leader as “experienced,” “wise” and “courageous.”
Peres and Abdullah worked together in past years on a now defunct peace proposal–Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have official diplomatic relations, though the two sides have tried before to mend that fact.
“The death of His Majesty the King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah is a real loss for peace in the Middle East. He was an experienced leader and a wise King and he had the courage in a very demanding period of time to stand up and to introduce a peace process for the Middle East,” Peres said.
“I’m not sure we could have accepted all the items in this peace process but the spirit, the strength and the wisdom invested in it impressed all of us and we thought it can be part of a base for making peace. I admired his position, I think it has influenced many people all around and I hope that his legacy and his proposal will remain for a long time as an important base for bringing peace. I want to express my regret and send my sympathy to his family and to Saudi Arabia.”
Current Israeli President Reuven Rivlin added: “As ‘Guardian of the Holy Places’ of Islam, King Abdullah acted as a moderator, respecting the sensitivity and sanctity of Jerusalem and sought to promote a vision of prosperity for the region. His wise policies contributed greatly to our region, and to the stability of the Middle East.”