Peres issues 2015 plea for peace

 Former president calls for a renewed commitment to equality and tolerance in 2015

(SOURCE)  Former president Shimon Peres delivered New Year’s greetings Thursday in a video released on YouTube, and called upon viewers to make a renewed commitment to peace, equality and tolerance in the upcoming year.

Peres described 2014 as a year of “great evils” and urged people to work for a world where values trump material achievements in 2015.

In his message, the former president called the steps taken by the US to renew diplomatic relations with Cuba a “moment of promise.” He also praised North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un’s televised New Year’s address, where he offered to hold high-level talks with South Korea.

Despite the bloodshed and suffering in the Middle East, Peres said he saw a desire to depart from it and return the region to a holy and peaceful place. He urged people to make 2015 “a year in which we bring an end to terror and beginning cooperation.”

Peres expressed optimism for the direction world leaders were taking, saying “it seems that more and more leaders understand that to be a leader is to lead to a better world, to justice, equality and hope.”

Peres also extended a personal greeting to Pope Francis, calling him a pope of hope and peace.

“Let’s pray together. Let’s understand that to be different is not a negative. Let’s understand that to go together and bring peace is a possibility that must not be postponed,” Peres said.