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In the framework of the state dinner this evening (Thursday, 21 March 2013), President Shimon Peres will award President Obama with the Presidential Medal of Distinction for his unique contribution to the security of the State of Israel. This will be the first time in the history of bilateral relations that an Israeli President will award the medal to a serving US President.
The Presidential Medal of Distinction award ceremony will be held during a state dinner at the President’s Residence that will be attended by the Prime Minister and his wife, Israeli public figures and senior US administration officials. President Peres will bestow the Medal on President Obama and deliver a special speech to mark the occasion.

The decision to award President Obama the medal was taken by President Peres following the recommendations of the Presidential Medal of Distinction advisory committee which includes – inter alia – retired Supreme Court President Meir Shamgar and former President Yitzhak Navon.