Prince William Meets Abbas, Netanyahu in Coming Trip to Region

Published June 12th, 2018 - 10:01 GMT
Britain’s Prince William (Shutterstock/File Photo)
Britain’s Prince William (Shutterstock/File Photo)

Britain’s Prince William will meet during his upcoming trip to the Middle East Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, his spokesman said on Monday.

He is also set to meet with Syrian refugees during the June 24 to 28 trip that kicks off in Jordan. He will then head to the Palestinian territories and Israel.

William, Queen Elizabeth’s grandson and second-in-line to the British throne, is the first senior British royal to pay an official visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

In Jordan, he will meet young Syrian refugees and stay at the private residence of King Abdullah II.

While the trip is at the behest of the British government, the prince’s Communications Secretary Jason Knauf said such a visit had been discussed for years.

“Now is the appropriate time and the Duke of Cambridge is the right person to make this visit,” Knauf told reporters, referring to William by his official title.

He said the prince was looking forward to building “a real and enduring relationship with the people of the region”.

“The non-political nature of his royal highness’s role - in common with all royal visits overseas - allows a spotlight to be brought to bear on the people of the region,” Knauf said.

There are no current plans to meet the sovereign and Queen Rania as the focus of the Jordan leg is on building relations with 23-year-old Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah.

In Israel, he will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and lay a wreath on June 26. He will then sit down for talks with Netanyahu and meet President Reuven Rivlin at his residence.

He will meet Abbas at his Ramallah office on June 27 and meet refugees, young Palestinians and "celebrate Palestinian culture, music and food", Knauf told reporters.

 

On the final day, in Jerusalem, he will visit the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, and pay his respects at the tomb of his great-grandmother Princess Alice, which is located in the Garden of Gethsemane which his father Prince Charles and grandfather Prince Philip have both visited before during private trips.

The visit is not linked to the 70th anniversary of Israel's founding being marked this year.

The 10-strong tour party does not include any government ministers.

William's wife Kate is not accompanying him on the trip as she is not undertaking overseas travel so soon after the birth of the couple's third child Prince Louis on April 23. However, he will be accompanied by his senior adviser, David Manning, a former British ambassador to Israel.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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