09/28/2016 12:21 EDT

Trudeau: Shimon Peres Was 'Real Friend To Canada,' Man Of Peace

The Israeli statesman died Wednesday at the age of 93.

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is paying tribute to Israeli statesman Shimon Peres, calling him a man of peace and a friend to Canada.

The prime minister says Peres, who died early Wednesday at the age of 93, was an internationally respected statesman.

Peres was twice prime minister of Israel and also served as president.

Shimon Peres poses for a portrait in Jaffa, Israel on Feb. 8, 2016. (Oded Balilty/AP)

He shared a Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.

Trudeau says Peres made an great contribution to the founding and building of Israel, but also sought to promote understanding between his country and its neighbours.

Trudeau says he will attend a memorial service Friday in Israel.

"On behalf of Canadians, Sophie and I offer our deepest condolences to his family and to the people of Israel," the prime minister said.

Trudeau notes Peres' friendship with his father

He recalled visiting Peres in Israel when he was president.

"He regaled me with stories of his friendship for my father and his deep affection for Canadians."

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephane Dion said he met Peres in 1999.

"He is a giant of our history," Dion said. "And why? Because he attached his name to the beautiful goal of peace and he did it with a love for his country, Israel, that should be an inspiration for all of us."