Lord Polak: Lack of royal visit to Israel a ‘stain’ on relations

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Lord Polak: Lack of royal visit to Israel a ‘stain’ on relations

Stuart Polak
Lord Polak

The Foreign Office “seems to want to stop” an official Royal visit to Israel, a Tory peer had suggested.

The claim from Lord Polak, the former director of Conservative Friends of Israel, came during the organisation’s annual lunch in Westminster. 

Prince Charles has previously visited for the funeral of Yitzchak Rabin while the Duke of Edinburgh, whose mother is buried in Jerusalem, has also been – but none of these have been classified as official visits. 

Lord Polak told the gathering of more than 160 MPs and peers that he had used his recent visit to the Palace to receive his CBE to politely suggested to Prince Charles that it might be time to go again. Addressing an audience including Middle East Minister Tobias Ellwood, he said: “It is a bit of a stain on Britain-Israel relationships that the FCO seems to want to stop this happening. Two popes have been.

“I we have a minister for the Middle East who I’m sure will take way that thought and try to sort it out.”

Royal visits abroad are undertaken at the suggestion of the Foreign Office. 

Benjamin Netanyahu reissued an invitation to the hier to the throne, a keen supporter of the Jewish community and particularly of Kindertransport refugees, during last week’s climate change summit in Paris. But a Whitehall official told The Telegraph that such a trip is unlikely while a settlement with the Palestinians remains elusive.

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