President Reuven Rivlin.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
President Reuven Rivlin complimented Saudi King Abdullah, who was buried on Friday, saying the late leader contributed to “the stability of the Middle East.”
“I was saddened to hear of the death of the Saudi King Abdullah. He was an example of grounded, level-headed and responsible leadership, with a deep religious tradition,” Rivlin said. “As Guardian of the Holy Places of Islam, King Abdullah acted as a moderator who respected the sensitivity and sanctity of Jerusalem and sought to promote a vision of prosperity for the region.
“His wise policies contributed greatly to our region and to the stability of the Middle East,” Rivlin said.
In Jerusalem, there are discussions about sending a condolence letter to the Saudis, reported Ma’ariv, The Jerusalem Post’s Hebrew-language sister publication.
Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have official relations, but political sources in Jerusalem said Israel greatly appreciated Abdullah’s efforts at calming tensions.
Former president Shimon Peres, meanwhile, said the king’s death is “a real loss for peace in the Middle East,” while praising Abdullah for having “had the courage, in a very demanding period of time, to stand up and to introduce a peace process for the Middle East.
“I’m not sure we could have accepted all the items in this peace process, but the spirit, the strength and the wisdom invested in it impressed all of us and we thought it could really be part of a base for making peace,” Peres said, referring to the 2002 Saudi peace initiative.Reuters contributed to this report.