Prague, Sept 29 (CTK) – The funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres on Friday will also be attended by Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, in addition to the previously announced Foreign Minister Lubomir Zaoralek (both Social Democrats, CSSD), the Government Office told CTK on Thursday.

Czech President Milos Zeman will not attend the ceremony in Jerusalem.

Sobotka praised Peres as a personality of a historic importance.

“He assisted in establishing the State of Israel and he crucially influenced its history and the Middle East developments for many decades. That is why his effort to reach a just and permanent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was so important,” Sobotka said.

I therefore want to bow to the memory of this statesman on behalf of myself and our country,” Sobotka said.

Moreover, relations between the Czech Republic and Israel are unusually close, he added.

Peres died on Wednesday at the age of 93.

Some eighty state representatives from all over the world are expected to attend his funeral on Friday morning.

They include U.S. President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trueau, German President Joachim Gauck, French President Francois Hollande and other leading politicians.

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton has already arrived in Israel and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who has not paid any official visit to Jerusalem for several years, too, has shown interest in attending Peres’s funeral.

Zeman will not go to Jerusalem because on Friday he will be attending the Dialogue of Civilisations conference in Rhodes, Greece, which has been organised by Russian businessman and President Vladimir Putin’s aide Vladimir Yakunin.