American author and Nobel peace laureate Eli Wiesel (78) officially announced Saturday that he has rejected the proposal to run for presidency in Israel.
Speaking with reporters during a conference at Paris' Sorbonne University, Wiesel confirmed reports that he has been offered to take part in the presidential race, but that he turned down the proposal because he believes he is unsuitable for the job.
Wiesel added that although he was flattered by the offer, he is merely a writer, nothing more.
Asked whether his candidacy could promote the State of Israel's international position, Wiesel replied that the president in Israel is only a moral-representative authority, while it is the government that makes the decisions.
Earlier, Wiesel told Yedioth Ahronoth reporter Nahum Barnea: "This is an honorary position, it does not come with influence. That is why it's hard to say no. and still I said no, I love Israel too much."
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert noted last week that he favored an independent presidential candidate who was not affiliated with any particular political party.
A survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps, Wiesel has dedicated his life to ensuring that the memory of the Holocaust is never forgotten.
Wiesel has authored 36 educational works dealing with Judaism, the Holocaust and the fight against racism.