Obama, Clintons Join World Leaders In Attending Peres’ Funeral

TEL AVIV – President Barack Obama and other world leaders will arrive in Israel for the funeral of former prime minister Shimon Peres on Friday, a spokesman for Israel’s foreign ministry said Wednesday.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Bill and Hillary Clinton are also expected to attend, along with French President Francois Hollande, German President Joachim Gauck, and the Prince of Wales.

The Foreign Ministry also said officials from Egypt and Jordan are expected to attend the funeral, which will be held at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl cemetery, along with other representatives from Arab nations.

Secretary of State John Kerry, Former British Prime Minister David Cameron, Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Togo President Faure Gnassingbé, Australian Governor General Peter Cosgrove, and the Netherlands’ Queen Beatrix and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte are also set to attend.

Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, Portuguese Foreign Minister Augosto Santos Silva, and Singapore’s deputy prime minister will also arrive in Israel to pay their respects on Friday.

Pope Francis will not attend the funeral due to previous commitments in Georgia and Azerbaijan that day.

Peres passed away in the early hours on Wednesday, two weeks after suffering a massive stroke.

His passing prompted a flood of condolences from world leaders.

In a statement, Obama described Peres as “the essence of Israel itself” who “changed the course of human history.”

On Thursday, Peres’ coffin will be on display outside the Knesset in Jerusalem for the public to pay its respects.

“Today with deep sorrow we bid farewell to our beloved father, the ninth president of Israel,” Peres’ son Chemi said.

“Our father’s legacy has always been to look to tomorrow. We were privileged to be part of his private family, but today we sense that the entire nation of Israel and the global community share this great loss. We share this pain together.”

 


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