Published On: Thu, Sep 29th, 2016

Palestinian President Abbas to Attend Shimon Peres’ Funeral

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and three other PA officials are set  to attend the funeral of Israel’s ninth president Shimon Peres in Jerusalem on Friday. This will be Abbas’ first official visit in Israel since September 2010, and the first time he will shake hands with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since last November.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu officially authorized Abbas’ office’s request which it had sent to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) to attend the funeral of Shimon Peres

The Palestinian delegation includes PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General and chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat, Chief of General Intelligence Maj. Gen. Majid Faraj, and Civil Affairs Minister Hussein al-Sheikh.

In a condolence letter Abbas sent to Peres’s family Wedensday he reportedly portray him as a partner to the “peace of the brave” in 1993, together with late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. He added and noted the efforts Peres put in building a sustainable peace between Israel and the Palestinians since the signing of the Oslo Accords until his last day.  The letter was published by the official Palestinian news agency.

According to Arabic-language Sky News, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi will not be attending Peres’ funeral. But Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry would attend. Jordanian Prime Minister Jawad Anani will also be in attendance.

Major world leaders will attend the funeral, including American president Obama,  former President Bill Clinton,  French President Francois Hollande, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven,  Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte,  German President Joachim Gauk, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier,  Austria will be represented by acting President Doris Bures, former President Heiz Fischer and Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz,  EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, Australian Governor General Peter Cosgrove and Irish Foreign Minister Charles Flanagan will also attend.

Turkey will send a senior representative to the funeral,  undersecretary of foreign affairs, Feridun Sinirlioglu, who was the architect of the recent reconciliation agreement between Turkey and Israel.

After the funeral, Netanyahu will meet with British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Russian Parliament chair Vyacheslav Volodin, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Brazilian Foreign Minister José Serra.

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