President Shimon Peres on Tuesday evening called and congratulated Israel's President-Elect MK Reuven Rivlin, who will take office at the end of July.
"Rubi, Your Excellency the next President of the State of Israel, you are right for this role. It is a position that brings with it responsibility, you have to consider your every word and every action, but you will do it successfully because you are, to your core, a good person,” Peres told Rivlin.
“There is a handover period and I am at your disposal from this moment onwards with whatever you need. My team and I will do everything we can to ensure the handover is conducted is honorably and professionally and we do it gladly," he added.
"I am at the end of my seven-year term as President and it is an incredible privilege to serve to our people,” Peres told Rivlin. “As President your role is to serve, not to rule and in my eyes there is no greater honor than to faithfully serve your nation and your people. You have all the qualities to do just that. I wish you luck and I am confident that you will succeed in your future, which is also the future of the State of Israel."
President-elect Rivlin thanked President Peres and said, "I thank you on behalf of myself and my wife. I am stepping into big shoes, it won't be easy to be the 10th President after your presidency in which you done a lot of good for humanity, thank you Shimon."
Rivlin won Israel's presidential elections earlier Tuesday, beating his opponent MK Meir Sheetrit (Hatnua) in the second round of votes.
119 out of 120 Members of Knesset voted in the second round, with 63 voting for Rivlin and 53 for Sheetrit. Three MKs cast blank ballots.
Many are hoping that Rivlin will stick to the Israeli president’s defined ceremonial and apolitical role, unlike Peres who, more than any other president in Israel's history, has several times made statements that are contrary to the views of Israel’s elected government. He was criticized for doing this on more than one occasion.