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Barack Obama to Lead U.S. Delegation to Funeral for Shimon Peres

Obama is one of several world leaders, including Bill Clinton, French President Francois Hollande and the U.K.'s Prince Charles, who will attend.
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Members of the Knesset guard stand next to the Israeli flag at half-staff in preparations to display the coffin of former Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Knesset, Israel's Parliament, in Jerusalem, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. The country mourned the death of Peres, a former president and prime minister whose life story mirrored that of the Jewish state, as the government began preparations for a funeral that is expected to bring together world leaders and dignitaries. Israeli officials are feverishly preparing security arrangements and logistics to host an array of world figures arriving in Israel for Peres' funeral Friday.Ariel Schalit / AP
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President Barack Obama will lead a U.S. delegation to attend the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres, the White House said Wednesday.

The president will leave for Israel Thursday and will return to Washington, D.C., on Friday.

Related: Shimon Peres, Ex-Israeli President and Nobel Laureate, Dies at 93

Peres, called one of the founding fathers of the state of Israel and hailed for a career built on promoting peace between Arabs and Jews, died at the age of 93 after being hospitalized for a major stroke, his family announced Wednesday morning Israel time.

A host of world leaders are expected to attend the funeral in Jerusalem. Former U.S. president Bill Clinton, the U.K.’s Prince Charles and French President Francois Hollande have said they will attend, among other leaders.

Related: World Pauses to Remember Shimon Peres, 'the Face of Israel'

Obama in a statement after Peres' death said the former Israeli leader never gave up hope on the pursuit of peace between Israelis, Palestinians and Israel's neighbors. Obama said no one had done more to strengthen the bond between Israel and the United States than Peres.

"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. My friend Shimon was one of those people," Obama said.