The White House says President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will attend a Tuesday memorial service in South Africa honoring Nelson Mandela.
The service will take place at a stadium in Johannesburg.
The Obamas will be accompanied on Air Force One by former President George W. Bush and wife Laura Bush. Former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, along with former President Jimmy Carter, will also attend memorials for Mandela in South Africa.President George HW Bush is the only living U.S. president not scheduled to make the trip to South Africa – most likely due to his health.
President Bush’s spokesman Jim McGrath tweeted Friday: ’41 and Mrs Bush cannot accept Pres Obama’s kind invitation to attend Pres Mandela’s funeral. They will be there in spirit.’
A state funeral for Mandela will take place December 15 in the anti-apartheid leader’s hometown, capping off a 10-day mourning period.
The U.S. presidents are just a few on a long list of international dignitaries who are expected to attend the memorial services.
Prime Minister David Cameron has announced that he will be attending the funeral and Prince Charles is expected to join him.
Several celebrities who had personal ties to the late great leader, such as Oprah Winfrey and U2 frontman Bono, are also expected to attend the service.
Desmond Tutu, a long-time friend of Mr Mandela and former archbishop of Cape Town, is the clear frontrunner for leading the service.