Obama calls Peres to wish him well after heart attack


JERUSALEM (JTA) — President Barack Obama called Shimon Peres to wish him well after the former Israeli president’s recent heart attack.

During their conversation on Saturday, Obama thanked Peres for their long friendship, a statement from Peres’ office said.

“I left hospital stronger than I entered,” Peres told Obama in praising his medical team at Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer.

Peres also praised Obama for his work.

“I want to thank you for seven years of excellent leadership, where you built varied channels and new horizons for citizens of the United States but also for citizens of the world,” Peres said. “Thank you for placing science at the center and leading extraordinary alliances such as the climate agreement signed in Paris.”

Peres also praised Obama for his use of diplomacy on the international stage.

“Diplomacy is always the preferred route over war and violence, and you proved that through diplomacy you can reach one-of-a-kind agreements,” he said. “You handled regional and world crisis courageously. Your unmeasurable contribution to citizens of the world will live for many years.”

Peres, 92, was discharged from the hospital last week, saying as he left: “I feel rejuvenated and I am ready to return to serving our wonderful country that I love so much.”

Peres, who retired as president of Israel in 2014 after more than half a century in public life, was taken to the hospital on Jan. 14 after feeling chest pains. He underwent a cardiac angioplasty at Sheba’s Heart Institute to open a blocked artery and was sent home five days later.

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