Prince William to meet with Abbas after Rivlin urges ‘message of peace’
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Prince William to meet with Abbas after Rivlin urges ‘message of peace’

Duke of Cambridge set to sit down with Palestinian president on Wednesday after Israel's head of state called for building a 'first step' of confidence

The Duke of Cambridge during his audience with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence in Jerusalem, Israel, 

Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
The Duke of Cambridge during his audience with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin at his official residence in Jerusalem, Israel, Photo credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

The Duke of Cambridge will meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas a day after Israel’s president urged him to take a “message of peace” to the Arab leader.

William will sit down for talks with Mr Abbas in Ramallah, becoming the first member of the royal family to visit the Palestinian Occupied Territories at the request of the Government.

After meeting Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the country’s president Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday, William will have the opportunity to get to know the Palestinian leader during discussions in his offices.

President Rivlin asked William to encourage the Palestinian Authority President to take the “first step” with Israel to end the “tragedy” between them, which has existed for more than a century.

The head of state’s comments have drawn William into the politics of the region and given the remaining days of his historic Middle East tour greater importance.

In a speech made on Tuesday, William said: “This region has a complicated and tragic history – in the past century the people of the Middle East have suffered great sadness and loss.

“Never has hope and reconciliation been more needed. I know I share a desire with all of you, and with your neighbours, for a just and lasting peace.”

Commenting on the Israeli president’s request to William, Britain’s ambassador to Israel David Quarrey said: “I don’t think that the duke will be bringing a particular message to either side.

“But I think he’ll be very interested in hearing from each side what they think they can do, what they think can be done more generally to move us out of the current situation and move us towards peace.

“We’ve obviously got a very strong interest in seeing progress from where we are now but I don’t think the duke will be taking a particular political message.”

In Ramallah the duke will attend events where he will learn about issues facing refugee communities and celebrate the culture, music and food of the people.

Back in Jerusalem, at the residence of the British Consul-General, William will meet representatives from Palestinian civil society, business, culture and government and give a speech.

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