The US Senate unanimously passed a bill to award President Shimon Peres with the Congressional Gold Medal.

It and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which Peres received in June 2012, are the US‘s highest civilian awards.

The bipartisan legislation was introduced by Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Democratic Sen.Michael Bennet of Colorado.

“I’m pleased to honor President Peres’s extraordinary record of service that has strengthened the unbreakable bond between the US and Israel, our closest and most reliable ally in the Middle East,” Ayotte said on Thursday. “This legislation demonstrates that the United States stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Israel in these uncertain times.”

“In a world that is more complicated than ever, President Peres’s leadership has helped strengthen a US-Israel relationship forged by our shared commitment to democracy, human rights and rule of law. His career will serve as a beacon for the next generation of leaders,” Bennet said. “We are pleased to celebrate and honor President Peres as one of Israel’s most dedicated public servants.”

The bill now awaits passage by the House of Representatives.

The proposal to award Peres with the medal was made to mark his 90th birthday last August and the 65th anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel.

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