ALBANY, N.Y. — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will head to Israel to attend the funeral of former Israeli statesman Shimon Peres.

The Democratic governor plans to leave New York on Thursday.

Cuomo noted that his state is home to more than 1.7 million Jews and says New York has a “special relationship” with Israel.

He will join a list of several dignitaries at Friday’s funeral for Peres, one that includes former President Bill Clinton, Britain’s Prince Charles and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Peres, a former president and prime minister, died Wednesday at the age of 93.

Cuomo says he will honor Peres as a friend to all New Yorkers and to “all defenders of peace across the world.”