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Clinton, Putin, Blair call Peres to wish him well after stroke

Politicians and others from around the world take to social and other media to wish former president a speedy recovery

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

President Shimon Peres awards former president Bill Clinton with the Presidential Medal of Distinction, Wednesday, June 19, 2013 (photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO/Flash90)
President Shimon Peres awards former president Bill Clinton with the Presidential Medal of Distinction, Wednesday, June 19, 2013 (photo credit: Moshe Milner/GPO/Flash90)

Former US president Bill Clinton, Russian President Vladimir Putin and former British prime minister Tony Blair on Wednesday headed a varied group of politicians and other figures from across the globe who took to social media and other channels to wish Israel’s former President Shimon Peres a speedy recovery from a stroke.

Clinton, who worked closely with Peres in the 1990s on the Oslo Accords, which were meant to bring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to an end, called more than once since Peres was hospitalized on Tuesday night to ask about his condition, Peres’s spokesperson said.

Peres, 93, is considered the country’s leading elder statesman and his long career as a politician and as a booster of regional peace efforts has made him into a beloved figure among other world leaders.

Former British prime minister Tony Blair, who served as official envoy of the so-called Quartet for Mideast Peace which aims to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process — also called to ask about Peres’s condition, as did Putin, according to his spokesperson.

She declined to say what was discussed.

Other figures also sent well-wishes to Peres, who appeared to undergo a slight improvement Wednesday morning, recalling him for his peace efforts.

Nickolay Mladenov, UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said he was praying for Peres, calling him “a patriarch of peace and progress,” AFP reported.

Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Borge Brende tweeted: “My thoughts are with Israel’s elder statesman S. Peres….Shimon, the last of Israel’s founding generation, a man of peace.”

John Baird, a former Canadian minister of foreign affairs, used his Twitter account to say his thoughts and prayers were with Peres, while Salman Shaikh, a former director of the Brookings Doha Center, and an ex-United Nations staffer, called Peres “a statesman and peace advocate” and wished him well.

CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour tweeted: “Get well Shimon Peres, Man of Peace.”

American professional basketball player Amar’e Stoudemire — currently playing for the Hapoel Jerusalem basketball team — posted a picture of himself with a considerably shorter Shimon Peres on Facebook, with his get well wishes.

Sending prayers and wishing you a speedy recovery Shimon Peres שמעון פרס

Posted by Amar'e Stoudemire on Tuesday, September 13, 2016

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