(JNS.org) Pope Francis I congratulated Israel on its 65th Independence Day, which was celebrated on Tuesday.
Addressing Israeli President Shimin Peres directly, Pope Francis—who was inaugurated as Pope in March—said, "At the beginning of my Pontificate, I gladly invoke upon you and all the people of Israel the blessings of the Most High and assure you of my prayers for your high responsibilities at the service of the nation."
Pope Francis was one of a number of world leaders who released congratulatory messages to the Jewish state for Israel Independence Day.
U.S. President Barack Obama said, “On this date 65 years ago, the Jewish people realized their dream of the ages—to be masters of their fate in their own sovereign state. From that moment on, a free and independent Israel has had no greater friend and ally than the United States… On this anniversary, we reaffirm the unbreakable alliance between our two nations and our shared determination to realize the dreams of our people to live in security and peace.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Israel Independence Day wished for “peace and prosperity to the Israeli people” and stressed he remains convinced that Israel and Russia will "further develop constructive cooperation" in various fields and "interact effectively in our effort to promote peace, stability and security in the Middle East."