Washington - President Shimon Peres is to receive the United States' highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, President Barack Obama announced on Sunday.

In his speech to AIPAC's annual conference, Obama saluted Peres' six decades of service to founding and defending Israel.

"In his life, he has fought for Israel's independence, and he has fought for peace and security. As a member of the Haganah and a member of the Knesset; as a minister of defense and foreign affairs; as a prime minister and as a president - Shimon helped build the nation that thrives today: the Jewish state of Israel," said Obama. "But beyond these extraordinary achievements, he has also been a powerful moral voice that reminds us that right makes might - not the other way around."