Israel: Polish-born president given Belarusian birth certificate

Shimon Peres, right, receives the certificate
Image caption Belarus has been celebrating the 90th birthday of one of its most famous sons

Israel's Polish-born President, Shimon Peres, has been given a birth certificate - by Belarus.

"The certificate confirms that one of the most famous politicians of the present was born on August 2, 1923 in [the] village [of] Vishnevo in Belarus," says the former soviet state's foreign ministry on its website. The discrepancy arises because the area fell within Poland's borders when Peres was born, becoming part of the Belarusian Soviet republic later, Russian news agency RIA Novosti points out.

The commemorative certificate was handed to Peres at his Jerusalem residence, where Belarus's representative marked the president's impending 90th birthday by telling him he was "always welcome in his fatherland", reports Russia's Interfax agency. Belarus has been going to great lengths to mark the milestone, having recently welcomed Peres's daughter, Zvia Valdan, at the unveiling of a plaque at the house where the Israeli president was born and launched a photographic retrospective of his life.

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