President Barack Obama was scheduled to depart early Monday morning for Johannesburg, South Africa to attend Nelson Mandela‘s memorial service.
Joining Obama and the first lady on Air Force One were former President George W. Bush, his wife Laura and former first lady Hillary Clinton, according to the New York Daily News.
Bush launched an initiative to combat AIDS in Africa that saved millions of lives and this effort is an integral part of his legacy as president.
Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter will also be attending, but it was not clear if they would be on Air Force One, UPI reported.
Obama is “widely expected” to deliver an address at the 4-hour memorial service at a 95,000-seat World Cup soccer stadium in Soweto township, according to UPI.
Other world leaders reported to attend include British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Francois Hollande, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Global celebrities expected include U2’s Bono,widely known for his activism to end poverty and disease in Africa, media mogul Oprah Winfrey and the Spice Girls, the Daily Telegraph reported.