Foreign envoys vie for first audience with President Peres

Monday, June 18, 2007 |  by Staff Writer  

Envoys from the world's leading nations are said to be jostling for the honor of being the first to pay an official visit to President House in Jerusalem when Shimon Peres takes up his new position as Israel's head of state next month.

Among those vying for the perceived privilege are the ambassadors from the United States, France, Germany, Russia and China.

Officials at Israel's Foreign Ministry said they have never experienced such excitement over greeting an incoming Israeli president or prime minister.

While Peres' prior string of electoral defeats made him Israel's perennial political loser, his liberal and socialist views have long endeared him to fellow world leaders.

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