British Royal Palace says Prince Williams’s first visit to Middle East is non-political

LONDON, The British Royal Palace said on Monday that Prince William’s first visit to the Middle East is non-political, but it will focus on meeting the people of the region.

The visit is scheduled to start in Jordan on Sunday, June 24, before travelling to Israel on Tuesday and then will end with a visit to Palestine on Wednesday and Thursday.

Kensington Palace said on Twitter that 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: their cultures, their young people, their aspirations, and their experiences.

It further said that The Duke’s goal will be to meet as many people from as many walks of life as possible � and to use the spotlight that his visit will bring to celebrate their hopes for the future.

It said the Prince William will meet young entrepreneurs, view vibrant tech and media sectors, witness historic cultures being protected and interpreted for the 21st century, and meet people from a wide variety of backgrounds � including refugees � with a particular focus on young people.

The Duke will also meet with senior political and religious leaders in all three places, as well as a wide range of people drawn from across business, civil society, the arts and media and other sectors at receptions organized by the UK’s three missions.

Upon arrival in Palestine, what the Palace referred to as the Occupied Palestinian Territories, by mid-day, the Duke will first meet with President Mahmoud Abbas at the presidential headquarters.

The rest of the afternoon’s program in the West Bank, as outlined by the Palace, will include events that focus on the issues facing refugee communities; opportunities to celebrate Palestinian culture, music and food; and a chance to meet a number of young Palestinians before returning to Jerusalem in the late afternoon.

The next day’s programme in the Occupied Palestinian Territories will begin with a short briefing on the history and geography of Jerusalem’s Old City from a viewing point at the Mount of Olives. From here His Royal Highness will travel a short distance to the Church of St Mary Magdalene where he will pay his respects at the tomb of his great-grandmother, Princess Alice, said the Palace.

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, it added.

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, it concluded.

Source: Palestinian News & Info Agency