obamaWashington: US President Barack Obama voiced hope for continued strong ties with Israel under newly elected president Reuven Rivlin.

“We look forward to continued strong ties, to the benefit of both our nations, under Mr. Rivlin’s presidency,” Obama said in a statement, which added that the two countries have developed a “unique” relationship over more than six decades with the United States keeping its “unshakable” commitment to Israel’s security.

Rivlin, a 75-year-old former parliament speaker, won the presidency Tuesday. He will succeed Shimon Peres whose seven- year term ends next month.

Obama praised Peres for his “remarkable legacy of courage, conviction and compassion,” saying “He has dedicated his extraordinary life to the cause of peace, and I look forward to welcoming him in Washington later this month where he will receive the Congressional Gold Medal.”