Peres on Tuesday
Henry Kissinger
Photo: AFP

Peres bestows Kissinger with Presidential Award of Distinction

Veteran US diplomat honored for contribution to Israel and peace in the Middle East

President Shimon Peres presented veteran US diplomat Henry Kissinger with an award honoring his "significant contribution to the State of Israel and to humanity."


Kissinger was one of the first to receive Israel's Presidential Award of Distinction, which was bestowed upon him during a ceremony kicking off the fourth annual Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem on Tuesday.


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During the ceremony, Peres, Kissinger and former British Premier Tony Blair addressed the future challenges faced by the global community.


ועידת הנשיא, הערב (צילום: מארק ניימן, לע"מ)

(Photo: GPO) 


According to the conference's website, the awards are granted by the president "to express his appreciation and esteem to deserving individuals and organizations who have contributed their talents and efforts for the well-being of the State of Israel and to Tikkun Olam."


Peres chose Kissinger and the five other recipients with the help of an advising committee headed by former Chief Justice Meir Shamgar and Israel's fifth president, Yitzhak Navon.


Kissinger thanked Peres, saying that the honor would have made his parents proud.

Commenting on the deadlock between Iran and the West of the former's nuclear program, Kissinger said that "diplomacy should be given a chance… but the question is at what point one concludes that negotiations have reached their limit."


Kissinger went on to describe Israel as "an island of stability and domestic cohesion" in a region in the midst of uprisings.


Kissinger served as the US secretary of state under President Richard Nixon. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. He was picked to be honored on Tuesday due to his "unique contribution to Israel and to peace in the Middle East, and for being a statesman with foresight, creativity and vision," according to a statement.


The other honorees are human rights activist Judy Feld-Carr, Variety Israel President Attorney Uri Slonim, Zubin Mehta, the music director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Rashi Foundation, which aids needy sectors in Israel and Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, a scholar.


Omri Efraim contributed to the report




פרסום ראשון: 06.19.12, 20:54
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