Eighteen world leaders representing 11 countries notified the Israeli Foreign Ministry Wednesday morning that they plan to attend the funeral of former Israeli President Shimon Peres, scheduled for this Friday.
Peres will lie in state at the Knesset Thursday, a former aide to the president said.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are among the world leaders slated to arrive in Israel later this week for Peres’ funeral.
The US president praised Peres in a written statement Wednesday morning, calling him “My Friend Shimon.”
“There are few people who we share this world with who change the course of human history, not just through their role in human events, but because they expand our moral imagination and force us to expect more of ourselves,” the statement read.
The American delegation will also include Secretary of State John Kerry, as well as former President Bill Clinton and former First Lady Hillary Clinton.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is also scheduled to attend what is expected to be the most significant state funeral since the passing of Nelson Mandela in 2013.
Representing France at the funeral will be President Francois Hollande, and from the UK, both Prime Minister Theresa May and Prince Charles are scheduled to attend.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and President Joachim Gauck will also be in attendance, along with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, and President of Togo, Faure Gnassingbe.