Peres phones Bush to thank him for "friendship and cooperation"

President Shimon Peres telephoned outgoing US President George W. Bush on Monday night to express his own and Israel's appreciation for the cooperation and friendship that Israel enjoyed under the Bush administration. Peres told Bush that he had made an historic contribution to the whole world and to the Jewish people, and declared that Israel would cherish this and never forget. Peres thanked Bush for all that he had done for Israel and the Jewish people throughout his years in office and said that he had been a courageous leader, adding that there was no need to wait for any books to be written with hindsight in order to understand this. If the world had acted with same degree of courage against Hitler as Bush had demonstrated against Sadaam Hussein said Peres, the lives of millions of people would have been saved. Peres praised Bush's determined stance against terror both in the region and in the world and surmised that perhaps Bush's call for two states for two peoples living in peaceful coexistence may have been premature, but in the mirror of history it will deemed as a true vision, Peres forecast. Bush, who was extremely moved by Peres' words, said that it had been a privilege and an honor to work with Peres and to know him.