In a statement released Saturday night, the White House offered its condolences over the passing of Yitzhak Shamir and praised the late prime minister for helping to build a strong relationship with the United States.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said, “Yitzhak Shamir dedicated his life to the State of Israel. From his days working for Israel’s independence to his service as prime minister, he strengthened Israel’s security and advanced the partnership between the United States and Israel. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the people of Israel.”