Shimon Peres made history as the first Israeli president to address the Turkish parliament.
In his speech Tuesday attended by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Turkish Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, Peres expressed gratitude to Turkey for opening its doors to the Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492. He also voiced optimism about the outcome of the upcoming Annapolis peace summit, and said peace was possible with the Palestinians and other neighboring Arab countries.
“I came here to listen, not only to be heard, to exchange views in order to advance the efforts to reach a peace deal between us and the Palestinians, and to assess the chances of peace in the entire region, from Syria to Yemen,” Peres said.
Abbas also addressed the parliament, thanking Turkey for supporting the Palestinians’ efforts to gain their own state.