Date :Thursday, June 14th, 2018 | Time : 14:34 |ID: 64141 | Print

Prince William’s Middle East tour to build a relationship with the people of the region

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SHAFAQNA – Metro| by Amy Duncan : While Kate Middleton remains on maternity leave, Prince William is preparing to head on his first solo tour to the Middle East.

It is the first time a member of the British Royal Family has officially visited the Middle Eastern countries.

During his tour, the father of three will visit Israel, Jordan and occupied Palestinian territories.

Kensington Palace announced the Duke of Cambridge’s visit in March, with a spokesman confirming: ‘The visit is at the request of Her Majesty’s Government and has been welcomed by the Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian authorities.

‘Further details will be announced in due course.’

It will be the most sensitive tour the Duke Of Cambridge, who is now a full time royal, has ever undertaken.

His tour will commence later this month on Sunday 24 June to Thursday 28 June.

A Kensington Palace spokesman added: ‘The historic nature of this tour is of course important and the Duke considers it a great privilege to be undertaking the first ever official Royal tour of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and to be able to help further strengthen the friendship between Jordan and the United Kingdom.

‘More importantly, however, the Duke is looking forward to building a real and enduring relationship with the people of the region.

‘In particular he is pleased that his programme will allow him to meet a number of people from his own generation and young Jordanians, Israelis, and Palestinians.

‘His Royal Highness is looking forward to learning about their unique perspectives, but also their shared ambitions and hopes for the future.’

No royal has ever visited Israel – whose occupation of the Palestinian territories the UK considers illegal – in an official capacity before.

William’s father, Prince Charles, went to Israel for the funeral of former President Shimon Peres.

His great-grandmother and the mother of the Duke of Edinburgh, Alice of Battenburg, is also buried in Jerusalem.

She was honoured for hiding a Jewish family during the Nazi occupation of Greece. Her body moved to Mount of Olives – a ridge overlooking Jerusalem’s Old City – in 1988.

It will also be the first time a member of the British royal family has made a visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories, a palace spokesman said.

The Queen’s cousin the Duke of Gloucester visited the St John eye clinic in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in 2007, but this was not considered an official visit.


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