Obama, Bill Clinton Among World Leaders to Attend Shimon Peres' Funeral in Israel

Leaders from across the world express condolences over the death of former Israeli president Shimon Peres, who will lie in state at the Knesset on Thursday.

In this June 25, 2014, file photo, President Barack Obama, right, meets with Israeli President Shimon Peres in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.
In this June 25, 2014, file photo, President Barack Obama, right, meets with Israeli President Shimon Peres in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. Pablo Martinez Monsivais, AP

U.S. President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Bill Clinton are among the world leaders who will attend the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres on Friday at 11 A.M., according to Israel's Foreign Ministry. Hillary Clinton communications chief Jennifer Palmieri told U.S. media that she will not be attending the funeral.

After some ambiguity about the logistics of Obama's attendance, the White House confirmed that Obama will lead the U.S. delegation to Jerusalem to participate in the funeral and will return to Washington, D.C. following the ceremony on September 30.

EU President Donald Tusk and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, French President Francois Hollande and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are also expected to attend. Charles, the Prince of Wales, will also attend the funeral. Israel's Foreign Ministry believes officials from Egypt and Jordan will attend the funeral, along with other representatives from Arab states.

Britain's Prince Charles during a visit to the Biodiversity Conservation Center in Perth. November 15, 2015.
AFP

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Former British Prime Minister David Cameron, Canadian Foreign Minister Stéphane Dion, German President Joachim Gauck, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Togo President Faure Gnassingbé, Australian Governor General Peter Cosgrove, Dutch monarch Queen Beatrix and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will also attend.

Swiss President Johann Schneider-Ammann, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, Portuguese Foreign Minister Augosto Santos Silva, Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė will also attend.

Tony Blair, U.K.'s former prime minster, pauses during a Bloomberg Television interview in London, U.K., on Wednesday, June 8, 2016. Blair said he expects Britain to vote to stay in the European Union, as he defended David Cameron's conduct during the campaign and attacked former London Mayor Boris Johnson for backing a so-called Brexit.
Simon Dawson, Bloomberg

Pope Francis will not attend the funeral, despite earlier reports. Vatican spokesman Greg Burke said that he is scheduled to begin a three-day trip to Georgia and Azerbaijan that day.

Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of the online non-profit encyclopedia Wikipedia, said he will attend the funeral.

Peres passed away early on Wednesday, two weeks after suffering a massive stroke. His death resulted in an outpouring of condolences from foreign leaders including Obama, who called Peres "the essence of Israel itself" and announced plans to fly to Israel for the funeral.

Read more on Shimon Peres: 1923-2016 | From nuclear pioneer to champion of peace | Obama, world leaders mourn Peres | Shimon Peres, the eternal immigrant | Peres' quixotic battle for Israeli-Palestinian peace

The service will follow a special cabinet meeting Wednesday at 10 A.M. and Peres' coffin will be displayed outside the Knesset in Jerusalem on Thursday for the public to pay respects.

Peres spent the last two weeks in hospital and his condition deteriorated over Tuesday night before his death in the morning.

"Today with deep sorrow we bid farewell to our beloved father, the 9th 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."