Obama calls Peres to wish him well after heart attack

Marcy Oster

Shimon Peres in Tel Aviv, Nov. 30, 2015. (Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90)

Shimon Peres in Tel Aviv, Nov. 30, 2015. (Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90)

JERUSALEM (JTA) — U.S. President Barak Obama called former Israeli President Shimon Peres to wish him well after his recent heart attack.

During their conversation, 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. Thank you for placing science at the center and leading extraordinary alliances such as the climate agreement, signed in Paris,” Peres said.

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. You handled regional and world crisis courageously. Your unmeasurable contribution to citizens of the world will live for many years,” he said.

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 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.

At the end of December, social media was flooded with rumors that Peres had died, leading him to take to Facebook to declare that rumors of his demise were greatly exaggerated.

Peres retired as president of Israel in 2014 after more than half a century in public life.

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