Shimon Peres
Israeli President Shimon Peres after a meeting on Capitol Hill April 6, 2011 in Washington, DC. – AFP Photo

WASHINGTON: Israeli President Shimon Peres on Wednesday urged support for “the awakening of the Arab world,” saying the spread of democracy in the region could dramatically improve the staunch US ally's circumstances.

“We believe that the awakening of the Arab world is a great opportunity and that all of us should do whatever we can” to help those seeking “freedom and dignity in their lives,” Peres said after meetings with leaders of the US House of Representatives.

“The moment that the Arab world will become free and open and peaceful it will be a major change in the world experience and in the annals of the Middle East,” he said during a public appearance with Republican House Speaker John Boehner and others.

Peres thanked Washington for its “unbelievable support morally, politically and otherwise” as Israel struggled “alone as a democratic country in the Middle East, facing dangers and menaces” and fighting wars against its neighbors.

Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor also attended the closed-door talks with Peres, who met later with key US senators.



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