Ariel Sharon Lauded at Israel State Memorial Service

World | January 13, 2014, Monday // 12:53
Bulgaria: Ariel Sharon Lauded at Israel State Memorial Service US Vice President Joe Biden (C) flanked by Israeli President Shimon Peres (R) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as they attend the funeral memorial service for former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel (Arik) Sharon in Jerusalem. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Speakers at the state memorial for Israel's former PM Ariel Sharon have described him as an "indomitable" man devoted to the security of his people.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu said Sharon was "one of the greatest military commanders the Jewish people have had".

Sharon, regarded by many Israelis as a great statesmen but widely loathed in the Arab world, died on Saturday aged 85 after eight years in a coma.

He will be buried later at the family ranch in the Negev desert.

Thousands of mourners paid their final respects on Sunday, when Mr Sharon's coffin lay in state outside parliament - the Knesset - in Jerusalem.

There were some 20 foreign delegates and hundreds of Israeli dignitaries attending Monday's memorial service.

They included US Vice-President Joe Biden, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Middle East international envoy Tony Blair, Czech PM Jiri Rusnok and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

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Tags: Ariel Sharon, Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, Tel Aviv, Knesset, Jerusalem, Joe Biden, Sergei Lavrov, Sycamore ranch, Negev desert, Shimon Peres
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