30 heads of state expected to attend Jacques Chirac's memorial in Paris
Paris - Some 30 heads of state and government leaders have so far said they will attend a large memorial service in Paris for former French president Jacques Chirac that is scheduled for Monday.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, Italian President Sergio Mattarella and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban are among those expected to attend, the Elysee Palace said on Saturday. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier also announced plans to go to the memorial for Chirac, who died Thursday.
Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is also expected, according to the Elysee. In 2003, Chirac supported Schroeder in his fight against former US president George W Bush's plans for invading Iraq.
Monday will be a national day of mourning for France. A Mass in the Paris church Saint Sulpice will pay homage to Chirac, who died at age 86. His coffin will be brought in a convey beforehand to Paris' second-largest church.
French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to be in attendance at the service, as are former presidents Francois Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy und Valery Giscard d'Estaing.