Britain’s Prince William in Jordan for historic Middle East tour

1 / 6
Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah (R) greets Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, at Amman’s Marka military airport. Prince William arrived in Jordan at the start of a Middle East tour that will see him become the first British royal to pay official visits to both Israel and the Palestinian territories. (AFP)
2 / 6
Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah (R) greets Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, at Amman’s Marka military airport. Prince William arrived in Jordan at the start of a Middle East tour that will see him become the first British royal to pay official visits to both Israel and the Palestinian territories. (AFP)
3 / 6
Britain's Prince William and Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II review the honour guard in Amman, Jordan. (Reuters)
4 / 6
Jordanian honour guard prepares for the arrival of Britain's Prince William in Amman, Jordan. (Reuters)
5 / 6
Jordanian Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah (R) greets Britain’s Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, at Amman’s Marka military airport on June 24, 2018. (AFP)
6 / 6
Britain's Prince William is welcomed by Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II in Amman, Jordan. (Reuters)
Updated 24 June 2018
0

Britain’s Prince William in Jordan for historic Middle East tour

  • Prince William was greeted by Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah
  • He will become the first British royal to pay official visits to both Israel and the Palestinian territories

AMMAN: Prince William arrived in Jordan on Sunday at the start of a Middle East tour that will see him become the first British royal to pay official visits to both Israel and the Palestinian territories.
He was greeted at Amman’s Marka military airport by Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah, who is hosting William for the two-day visit in Jordan.
The 36-year-old Duke of Cambridge’s Royal Air Force plane touched down at the small airport in eastern Amman, where he was given a red-carpet welcome by the heir to the Jordanian throne.
Royal guards carrying rifles fitted with bayonets and wearing traditional red-and-white chequered keffiyeh scarves stood to attention as the prince, in a dark suit, descended from the plane.

Amman’s Mayor Youssef Al-Shawarbeh and foreign diplomats based in Jordan were also present at the airport to greet William.
The second in line to the British throne will spend two days in Jordan for a visit billed as a chance to bond with 23-year-old Prince Hussein, a fellow graduate of Britain’s Royal Sandhurst Military Academy.
Later Sunday, he will attend a birthday party in honor of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, at the residence of the British ambassador in Amman.
On Monday, William will visit the ancient Roman ruins of Jerash, north of the capital, as well as a vocational training college for young Jordanians and Syrian refugees.
That evening, he will head to Israel to begin his history-making visit to the Jewish state and occupied West Bank.
He will hold talks with both Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
Kensington Palace has underlined the “non-political nature of His Royal Highness’s role — in common with all royal visits overseas.”
But the region is a minefield of sensitivities.
The visit comes at a particularly volatile time after US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as capital of Israel and moved Washington’s embassy there, sparking Arab outrage and deadly clashes.
Britain governed the region under a League of Nations mandate for almost three decades until Israel’s independence 70 years ago, and is still blamed by both sides for sowing the seeds of a conflict that continues to wrack the region.
Ahead of William’s arrival, the official schedule’s reference to east Jerusalem as “in the Occupied Palestinian Territories” sparked anger among right-wing Israeli politicians.
Official visits by British royals take place at the request of the UK government, but statements from the prince’s household have given little explanation for the timing of this trip.
Israel has long pushed for an official visit by a member of the British monarchy.
Other members of William’s family — including his father Prince Charles — have made unofficial visits to Israel and east Jerusalem in the past.
During the trip, William will have plenty of reminders of Britain’s role in the region.
In Jerusalem he will stay at the King David hotel, which was Britain’s administrative headquarters during its rule of Palestine prior to Israeli statehood in 1948.
In 1946, militant Jews waging violent resistance against British rule bombed the building, killing and wounding scores of people, many of them British civil servants or military personnel.
Whilst in Jerusalem, William will lay a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.
He will also visit the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and pay tribute at the tomb of his great-grandmother Princess Alice of Greece, who was honored by Israel for sheltering Jews during World War II.
In the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah he is also set to meet Palestinian refugees and young people.


US President Donald Trump: Other countries should protect own Gulf shipping

Updated 36 min 6 sec ago
0

US President Donald Trump: Other countries should protect own Gulf shipping

  • ‘So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation’

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump said on Monday that other countries, including China and Japan, should protect their own oil tankers in the Middle East.

“So why are we protecting the shipping lanes for other countries (many years) for zero compensation,” Trump said on Twitter. “All of these countries should be protecting their own ships on what has always been a dangerous journey.”

Trump made the comments amid an escalation in tensions with Iran, as Washington has blamed Tehran for attacks on two oil tankers, owned by Japan and Norway, in the Strait of Hormuz and the downing of a US drone off the coast of Iran. Both Washington and Tehran have said they do not want a war.

The United States is expected to unveil new sanctions against Iran on Monday, aimed at further restricting Tehran’s resources.

Trump’s remarks echo those he has made about the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). He has called for the alliance’s member nations to spend more on defense.