Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 October 2020

Britain's Prince Charles hopes for peace in the Middle East

He says the 'most important thing' in the region is a 'just and lasting peace' and said he would like to visit Iran

Britain's Prince Charles meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a visit in Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Hazem Bader/Pool via REUTERS
Britain's Prince Charles meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a visit in Bethlehem in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. Hazem Bader/Pool via REUTERS

Britain's Prince Charles has spoken of his hope for a "just and lasting" peace in the Middle East.

It comes as the heir to the throne made a historic two-day visit to the West Bank.

He also said he would like to visit Iran.

In an interview, he told the Sunday Times: “I do think the most important thing (in the region) is a just and lasting peace."

He added that he prays "very hard all the time" for it and sees himself as a "peacemaker".

“I have spent much of my life trying to bring people together,” he added.

His short tour saw him visit the tomb of his grandmother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, in Jerusalem.

He spent Thursday in Jerusalem at an event to commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz and on Friday he was pictured shaking hands with bystanders in Bethlehem before heading into the historic Mosque of Omar.

The Mayor of Bethlehem Anton Salman greeted him at the mosque, where the prince signed his name in Arabic in a visitor book.

He also attended a service at the Church of the Nativity, where he was accompanied by the Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos III.

Charles also spoke of his wish to make an official visit to Iran, which he described as “an important part of the world” with “remarkable people”.

There had been discussions about an official visit but these were put on hold following the imprisonment of British-Iranian mother Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in 2016 on spying charges.

Charles said: "Obviously I would like to [go to Iran]. I know that Iran has been such an important part of the world for so many centuries and has contributed so much to human knowledge, culture, poetry, art. I have always been fascinated by Islamic culture and architecture and craftsmanship for a long time.”

He last visited Iran in 2004 following an earthquake.

Updated: January 26, 2020 03:40 AM

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