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Olmert backs Peres for president

Ehud Olmert endorsed Shimon Peres as a candidate for the Israeli presidency. The Israeli prime minister urged his Kadima faction Monday to support Peres’ run for head of state in a Knesset vote on June 13.”There is perhaps no one today whom the entire world associates with the State of Israel’s vision, peace aspirations and the marvelous progress it has made in technology and science,” Olmert said.Peres, Olmert’s top deputy, will be running against Reuven Rivlin of the Likud Party and Colette Avital of Labor. Peres, 83, did not attend Monday’s Labor faction session, as he was taking care of his gravely ill wife, Sonia.Peres was favored for the presidency, a mostly ceremonial role, in 2000 but lost out to Moshe Katsav.