Mushikiwabo in Israel for Shimon Peres funeral

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo is in Israel to represent President Paul Kagame at the funeral today of former Israel statesman, Shimon Peres.
The coffin of Mr Peres has been lying in state outside parliament in Jerusalem. (Net photo)
The coffin of Mr Peres has been lying in state outside parliament in Jerusalem. (Net photo)

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo is in Israel to represent President Paul Kagame at the funeral today of former Israel statesman, Shimon Peres.

In a tweet Thursday evening, President Kagame said, “Our Heartfelt Condolences to the People of Israel...for the passing of a remarkable Statesman - Shimon Peres! Same to the family and loved ones.”

 

Peres, one of the country's founding fathers suffered a stroke two weeks ago and died on Wednesday, aged 93, in a hospital near Tel Aviv.

 

Peres' coffin was earlier today escorted by a military honour guard from the parliament building in Jerusalem to Mount Herzl, Israel's national cemetery, where he will be laid to rest alongside many of the country's former leaders

 

US President Barack Obama is expected to speak at the ceremony, along with Peres' three children.

Others in attendance are UK’s Prince Charles, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Who was Shimon Peres?

-Born in 1923 in Wisniew, Poland, now Vishnyeva, Belarus

-First elected to the Knesset (Israeli parliament) in 1959

-Served in 12 governments, including once as president and twice as prime minister

-Seen as a hawk in his early years, when he negotiated arms deals for the fledgling nation

-In 1996 he ordered the so-called Operation Grapes of Wrath operation against Beirut in retaliation for Lebanese Hezbollah's escalated rocket fire on northern Israel. The bombing campaign killed and injured hundreds of civilians

 -A member of the government that approved the building of Jewish settlements on occupied territory, but came to view their future as negotiable

- Played a key part in reaching the Oslo peace accords the first deal between Israel and the Palestinians, which said they would “strive to live in peaceful coexistence”

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