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Queen “saddened” by news of the death of Israel’s former leader Shimon Peres

Buckingham Palace have released a statement saying that The Queen was was “greatly saddened to learn of the death of Shimon Peres”.

The statement continued: “Her Majesty warmly recalls her meeting with Mr Peres in 2008, and sends her heartfelt condolences to his family and the people of Israel at this sad time.”

The Palace have also announced that The Prince of Wales will be representing the 90-year-old monarch at the former Israeli President’s funeral on Friday.

Other world leaders who are expected to attend the funeral in Jerusalem include Pope Francis, US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Shimon Peres died on Tuesday at the age of 93. He twice served as Israel’s Prime Minister and once as President in a long and illustrious political career.

The former President suffered a stroke two weeks ago, but his health deteriorated for the worse earlier this week.

Mr Peres has won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994 in recognition of his work in negotiating the Oslo peace accords with the Palestinians.

He said that the people of Palestinian were Israel’s “closest neighbours” and might one day become its “closest friends”.

President Obama paid tribute to Mr Peres, calling him a “dear friend” and “the essence of Israel itself”.

He said: “Perhaps because he had seen Israel surmount overwhelming odds, Shimon never gave up on the possibility of peace between Israelis, Palestinians and Israel’s neighbours.

“A light has gone out, but the hope he gave us will burn forever.

“Shimon Peres was a soldier for Israel, for the Jewish people, for justice, for peace, and for the belief that we can be true to our best selves – to the very end of our time on Earth, and in the legacy that we leave to others.”

Prime Minister Theresa May has also paid her condolences saying:  “My thoughts go out to the Israeli people and the family of Shimon Peres as they mourn the loss of a beloved father and compatriot – a great man who epitomised optimism and a belief that by working together we can build a brighter future for generations to come.”

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