Rõivas to attend funeral of Shimon Peres on Friday
Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas will travel to Jerusalem on Friday for the funeral of Nobel Peace Prize laureate and former Israeli president and prime minister Shimon Peres.
According to information available to ERR, Rõivas will fly to Israel on Friday morning. Other heads of government and state to attend are U.S. president Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Pope Francis, Prince Charles, and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau.
President Toomas Hendrik Ilves in a letter on Wednesday honored Peres as a founder of the State of Israel and as an influential and exceptional leader that had worked for the wellbeing and the peace of all the people in the Middle East. Ilves also recalled Peres’ visit to Estonia in 2007 on the occasion of the opening of Tallinn’s new synagogue.
Shimon Peres (1923-2016) was an enormously influential figure in the history of Israel. He played a role in nearly every significant event since the foundation of the country, and his political career spanned 66 years.
Peres’ involvement in Israeli politics began during the Israeli War of Independence, during which he held different military and diplomatic positions. In 1953 Peres became director-general of the country’s defense ministry at the age of just 29.
During his political career, Peres was a member of 12 cabinets and served as prime minister twice. He was a member of five political parties and chairman of two of them. The last party he was a member of, Kadima, nominated him as its presidential candidate in 2007. He was elected for a seven-year term, and at the time he retired in 2014 was the world’s oldest head of state.
Shimon Peres died on September 28 after he had been hospitalized for two weeks following a severe stroke.