President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will travel to South Africa next week to pay tribute to the late Nelson Mandela, the White House confirmed Friday.
“President Obama and the First Lady will go to South Africa next week to pay their respects to the memory of Nelson Mandela and to participate in memorial events,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said in a statement.
The White House said further details of the visit will be announced later.
Mandela died Thursday at the age of 95.
In remarks at the White House Thursday evening, Obama called the former South African president an inspiration to the world.
“He achieved more than could be expected of any man,” he said. “Today, he has gone home. And we have lost one of the most influential, courageous, and profoundly good human beings that any of us will share time with on this Earth. He no longer belongs to us -- he belongs to the ages.”
Mandela’s funeral is set to be held on Sunday, December 15.
First published December 6 2013, 8:57 AM