Peres 'shocked' that Pope Benedict stepping down

President Shimon Peres on Monday said that he was "shocked" by the news that Pope Benedict would be steeping down as pontiff.
Peres wished Benedict "long life and many years of health."
The president praised Benedict as having "the depth of a great leader, the honesty of a believer, the belief of a peace-lover and the courage to adjust to historic changes without abandoning his principles."
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