Obama to attend Shimon Peres funeral in Jerusalem

Obama (centre) stands alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and late Israeli president Shimon Peres in this 2013 file photo.
Obama (centre) stands alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) and late Israeli president Shimon Peres in this 2013 file photo.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama will join other world leaders in attending the funeral of Israeli ex-president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Shimon Peres in Jerusalem, the White House said on Wednesday (Sept 28).

The President "will lead the US delegation to Jerusalem to participate in the funeral," the White House said.

He is to depart for Israel Thursday and return after the ceremony on Friday.

Obama led tributes to the elder statesman as a friend who refused to give up on the dream of peace.

Peres' commitment to Israel's security and pursuit of peace was "rooted in his own unshakeable moral foundation and unflagging optimism" the US leader said in a statement.

Obama is to join world leaders including former US president Bill Clinton, French President Francois Hollande and German President Joachim Gauck and Britain's Prince Charles in attending Peres' Friday funeral at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl, where many Israeli dignitaries are buried.

Peres, who was 93, held nearly every major office in the country, serving twice as prime minister and also as president, a mostly ceremonial role, from 2007 to 2014.

 

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