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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 10 December 2018

John McCain services set for Phoenix, Washington and Annapolis

President Donald Trump is not expected to attend any of the services

Items and personal notes are left outside the office of Sen. John McCain, as people pay their respects to the late Arizona senator. Getty Images
Items and personal notes are left outside the office of Sen. John McCain, as people pay their respects to the late Arizona senator. Getty Images

Senator John McCain's service to his country began at the US Naval Academy at Annapolis and will end there in a cemetery overlooking Maryland's Severn River.

A private burial service next Sunday will conclude nearly a week of events honouring the Arizona Republican, who died of brain cancer on Saturday at 81.

Plans call for McCain to lie in state on Wednesday in the Arizona State Capitol on what would have been his 82nd birthday. A funeral will be conducted on Thursday at North Phoenix Baptist Church with former Vice President Joe Biden speaking.

In Washington, McCain will lie in state on Friday in the Capitol Rotunda. On Saturday, a funeral will be conducted at Washington National Cathedral.

A private funeral is planned for Sunday afternoon at the Naval Academy Chapel. As he wished, McCain will be buried next to a Naval Academy classmate and lifelong friend, Chuck Larson.

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President Donald Trump was not expected to attend any of the services. McCain had long feuded with Mr Trump, and two White House officials said McCain's family had asked, before the senator's death, that the US president not attend services. Vice President Mike Pence is likely to attend, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe private discussions.

Mr Trump noted the senator's death in a tweet Saturday: "My deepest sympathies and respect go out to the family of Senator John McCain. Our hearts and prayers are with you!"

First lady Melania Trump also tweeted, thanking McCain for his service to the country.

Former presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama had been McCain's political opponents, too, blocking his White House ambitions in 2000 and 2008, respectively.

"These were bitter contests, both of them," Senator Jeff Flake, R-Ariz, said on Sunday on CBS's Face the Nation, and "to ask them to speak at your funeral, and for them to be honoured at the opportunity, that tells you all you need to know".