Prominent and ordinary Indians took to social media expressing their grief following the death of Israeli statesman and Nobel laureate at the age of 93:

“It was during his service as the minister of foreign affairs in the 1990’s that Peres also began his special relationship with India. He was the first minister of foreign affairs to visit India following the establishment of diplomatic relations,” wrote Ambassador Daniel Carmon, Israel’s envoy to India, in an article published yesterday in India newspaper Hindustan Times. “He visited India several times in various capacities, visits to be remembered and cherished by all those who met him here.”

Prime Minister of Indian Narendra Modi, widely credited for undertaking a diplomatic initiative to strengthen ties with the Jewish State since he came to power 2 years ago, was one of the first Indian leaders to convey condolences on the death of former Israeli President.

President Pranab Mukherjee, who met President Peres last October during his historic visit to Israel — first ever by an Indian head of state — also expressed his sympathies on Twitter.

Senior Members of Prime Minister Modi’s government and Chief Ministers of Indian states also took to social media to convey their condolences.

Cooperation in the field of agriculture was at the heart of President Shimon Peres’ vision for expanding Israel-India relations. In November 2013, he talked about this vision in a video message in response to a Facebook query submitted by me [watch that video below].

Since then, Israel has fostered strong ties with various Indian states in the field of agriculture technology. Israeli agency for international development MASHAV is working to set up 26 agriculture technology centre across India by the end of 2017 — out of which 15 are already fully operational. This concept is so successful that partner states want to set up 10-14 additional centres across the country, offering to run new centres using their own resources.

Leaders belonging to India’s main opposition party Indian National Congress (INC) also paid their last respects to President Peres, a testament to this great unifier whose appeal and charisma touched people across the political spectrum.

Other prominent Indians to express their condolences include business mogul and chairman of India’s Reliance Group Anil Ambani, and the noted author and leading political commentator Kanchan Gupta.

“I came here as a great friend and admirer of India,” said President Shimon Peres during one of his of visits to the country. President Shimon Peres loved India, and India loved him back.

Video: President Shimon answers author’s question about the future of Israel-India cooperation in agriculture technology, November 2013

[Cover image courtesy Embassy of Israel, New Delhi]