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U.S. president to attend Mandela memorial service Tuesday

English.news.cn   2013-12-08 10:32:27            

WASHINGTON, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama will attend a memorial service for late former South African President Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, a White House official said on Saturday.

First lady Michelle will accompany the president on his trip, but U.S. media said the official did not disclose more details about the president's schedule and his delegation.

The memorial service on Tuesday will be held at a 94,000-seat soccer stadium in Johannesburg, where Mandela died at his home on Thursday at the age of 95.

Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, Obama's predecessors, will also travel to South Africa for the memorials. Bush and his wife Laura reportedly have agreed to accompany the Obamas on their Air Force One plane.

George H.W. Bush, Bush's 89-year-old father and the other living former U.S. president, is poor in health for a long-distance travel. He issued a statement Thursday mourning on Mandela's death.

Obama sees Mandela as his "personal hero," and in a televised statement on Thursday he said the anti-apartheid icon "achieved more than could be expected of any man."

In a proclamation signed the same day, Obama ordered an immediate lowering of flags for Mandela at the White House, upon all public buildings, at all military posts and foreign missions until sunset of next Monday.

South African President Jacob Zuma announced on Friday that the country will have a state funeral and burial for Mandela on Dec. 15.

Related:

Canadian PM to pay final respects to Mandela

OTTAWA, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Saturday that he, together with his three predecessors, will travel to Johannesburg on Sunday to pay their last respects to former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died two days ago.

In a statement, Harper praised Mandela as "one of the world's most respected political and moral leaders." Full story

Preparations in full swing for Mandela's funeral: government

JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The South African government announced on Saturday that preparations are in full swing for the funeral of former president Nelson Mandela.

Among the arrangements, Mandela's body is being prepared by the Military Health Service of the South African National Defense Force to lie in state at the Union Buildings from Dec. 11 to 13, said Collins Chabane, Minister in the Presidency. Full story

S. Africa to hold Mandela funeral on Dec. 15

JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The South African government on Friday announced Mandela's funeral will be held on Dec. 15.

The decision came after President Jacob Zuma visited Mandela's family in Johannesburg. Shortly before midnight on Thursday, Zuma announced the 95-year-old anti-apartheid icon passed away at 20:50. Full story

Nelson Mandela has died at age 95

JOHANNESBURG, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- Former South African president Nelson Mandela has died at the age of 95 Thursday, President Jacob Zuma announced in a televised speech to the nation.

"Our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding President of our democratic nation has departed," Zuma said. Full story

Editor: Shen Qing
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