: President of Israel halts visit to Ukraine over death of ex-leader Peres

11:19 Sep. 28, 2016

President of Israel halts visit to Ukraine over death of ex-leader Peres

President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko (L) walks with the President of Israel Reuven Rivlin (R) past a soldiers of The Honor Guard during the first state visit Israely President to Ukraine, September 27, 2016.  (GettyImages Photo)

Israeli's ex-leader Shimon Peres has died at the age of 93 after suffering from a stroke

The current President of Israel Reuven Rivlin has halted his visit to Ukraine and is expected to go back to pay his respects to Shimon Peres, who died on September 28 at the age of 93 years.

Prior to his death Peres had been kept in a medically induced coma after he suffered from a stroke.

Watch also: Ukraine's President Poroshenko addresses Israel's parliament

Shimon Peres was the ninth President of Israel and a major figure in his political career spanning over 66 years. He had also served as the country's Prime Minister, Minister of Defense, Finance, Foreign Affairs and Interior Minister.

He was also presented with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 for his input in the peaceful negotiations on the Palestinian autonomy.

During his visit to Ukraine, Rivlin conveyed his support for Peres saying ‘he was praying for the health of his friend'.

President Rivlin had come to Ukraine for what was expected to be a four-day visit, ahead of the 75th anniversary of the Babi Yar tragedy. Upon his arrival Israeli leader addressed Ukrainian lawmakers, making a controversial statement about the involvement of Ukraine's nationalist groups' in the Holocaust.

Read also: Poetry amongst the dead

This incident, however, didn't seem to have much of an impact on the relations between the two countries. After his talks with Rivlin, President Poroshenko said the two leaders agreed to ‘significantly broaden economic cooperation and speed up the negotiations on the Free Trade Area agreement' between Ukraine and Israel.

‘Ukraine has recently demonstrated great changes focusing on its reforms on profound democratic values professed by Israel', Rivlin said, in turn.

Initially Reuven Rivlin was expected to stay in Ukraine until Friday, but said he will return to Israel today, on Wednesday.

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