Mt. Herzl, Jerusalem
6 November 1995
[Translated from Russian]
Dear Mr. President, dear Mr. Peres, ladies and gentleman,
It is the feeling of profound grief over the tragic death of Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel, that has united us all and brought us here today. His brutal murder has shocked the entire civilized world, causing a response of pain in people's hearts. The international community has suffered an enormous loss. The wide representation of nations of the world at this somber ceremony is the best testimony to the high respect enjoyed by Yitzhak Rabin.
The life of an outstanding statesman has come to an abrupt end. A statesman who has done so much to ensure that a dawn of peace, good neighborliness and cooperation comes at long last to the Middle East, and the long-standing confrontation is being done away with. His name will forever be associated in history with the accomplishment of an unprecedented task, that of making a transition to a new relationship of peace and cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian people.
A new leaf has been turned over in the book of history between Israel and its Arab neighbors. It is thanks to the political courage and far-sightedness of Yitzhak Rabin and his friends and colleagues that we can say today that the peace process is gaining an ever more solid foothold in the region and is beginning to bring concrete fruits of enhanced confidence and rapport to the peoples living here. His belief in a better future for the Middle East and firm commitment to the policy of peace-making has won wide recognition and support throughout the world, as well as in Israel itself.
Yitzhak Rabin's assassination represents an attempt to hamper progress towards peace and to plunge the region, once again, in the abyss of human suffering and bloodshed. I am convinced that this attempt will fail, and the cause of peace will continue -- the cause to which this great man has devoted his life. This will serve as a worthy reply to extremist plans and due appreciation of this man's endeavors.
The lofty goals we set ourselves deserve that. Those are our shared goals of strong and lasting peace in the region, its tranquility, well-being and prosperity. The future of the Middle East i+ down that road rather than the road of terrorism and unbridled enmity.
Yitzhak Rabin will stay in our memory also as a politician who has made a major contribution to the development of friendly relations between Russia and Israel. He was a man of keen intellect and great charisma. We will remember his candid and businesslike approach, and his support for the cooperation between our two countries.
Allow me, on this mournful day, to express on behalf of President Yeltsin, the Russian people and on my own behalf our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of the deceased, to the leaders of Israel, and to all Israeli people. May I wish courage to the government of Israel, and personally to Mr. Peres, who, I have no doubt, will be able to carry on efforts to strengthen the foundation for peace and neighborliness in the region.
Peace to all of you. Shalom.