Charlie Flanagan to attend state funeral of Shimon Peres

The former Israeli president died on Wednesday

Charlie Flanagan to attend state funeral of Shimon Peres

Shimon Peres during an interview with the Associated Press in 2011 | Image: Sebastian Scheiner / AP/Press Association Images

Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan is to attend the state funeral of Shimon Peres in Jerusalem.

He will represent the Irish Government at the event on Friday.

The former Israeli president passed away on Wednesday, two weeks after suffering a stroke.

Mr Peres held nearly every major office in Israel during a five-decade political career - serving twice as prime minister (1984-1986 and 1995-1996) and also as president between 2007 and 2014.

He won the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize jointly with prime minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat for his role in negotiating the Oslo Accords, which envisioned an independent Palestinian state.

World leaders are expected to attend the service, including US President Barack Obama.

Prior to his departure, Minister Flanagan said: "I am honoured to represent Ireland at the state funeral of Shimon Peres.

"Mr Peres was a visionary who recognised that the two-state solution is a paramount interest for the people of Israel.

"I hope that his life and his leadership will inspire political leaders committed to establishing lasting peace in the region to make that aspiration a reality."

Mr Peres was a key architect of the Oslo Accords and the Middle East Peace Programme, and a determined advocate for the pursuit of a peace agreement between Israel and its neighbours.

Minister Flanagan visited Israel and Palestine in 2015, and again in June 2016, to encourage local leaders to work to reach a peace agreement.