"Today is a great day not only for the United States of America, but for the entire world," President Shimon Peres wrote in a letter addressed to Barack Obama on the day of his inauguration as president of the United States.
"Obama was elected by the United States, but as a matter of fact, he was chosen by the whole of humankind," Peres continued, "His election is the correction of one of the greatest wrongs in the annals of history… - slavery."
"I pray here in Jerusalem that Barack Obama will be a great President of the United States. If he will be a great President of the United States, he will serve all humankind, all nations and all persons.
"Because to be a great American President today means to struggle for peace, to fight terror, to protect the environment, and to offer the young generation a better future," Peres added.
According to the Israeli president, Obama will surely be a good partner for Israel because he shared the country's hopes and goals.
Peres' statement was broadcast by various major international media outlets.
On Monday, Peres called President George W. Bush to bid him farewell. "Had the world acted against Hitler like you acted against Saddam Hussein, millions of lives would be saved," he told Bush.
"You've made an historic contribution to the entire world and to the Jewish people in particular, and we shall treasure and remember it forever," Peres added.