CAIRO: Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, began a two-day visit to Egypt on Thursday as part of a tour that also includes Jordan.
It is their first official overseas trip since the start of the pandemic and their second to Egypt.
They visited the country in 2006 as part of a tour that included Saudi Arabia and India, with the aim of promoting better understanding and tolerance between religions, supporting environmental initiatives, and encouraging sustainable job opportunities and training for young people.
Prince Charles visited Al-Azhar, Al-Azhar Park, Siwa Oasis, and inaugurated the British University in Cairo during that trip.
He said in his speech at Al-Azhar University: “I believe with all my heart that responsible men and women should work to restore mutual respect between religions, and we must do everything in our power to overcome the mistrust that poisons the lives of many people.”
He also visited Egypt in 1981 with the late Diana, Princess of Wales, on their honeymoon. They stopped on their yacht in Port Said and were received by President Anwar Sadat and his wife.
The British embassy in Cairo said the visit program would give the royal couple an opportunity to celebrate the culture of ancient Egypt and its spiritual importance, while also looking at modern Egypt, which embraces a more environmentally friendly future.
President Abdel Fatteh El-Sisi and his wife Intisar El-Sisi received the couple at the Federal Palace to officially welcome them. This meeting looks to strengthen the religious ties between the UK and Egypt.
The prince will meet artisans and conservators to celebrate traditional craftsmanship and the UK's support for cultural heritage preservation.
A reception to celebrate bilateral ties will be held in the Giza plateau area overlooking the pyramids and, on the last day of the trip, the couple will visit the ancient city of Alexandria.
They will visit programs and institutions in areas they are committed to supporting.
The prince focuses on environmental issues, interfaith dialogue, heritage preservation, and providing jobs and opportunities for young men and women. The duchess continues her commitment to supporting women, as well as educating girls.
The embassy also said the visit followed the UK’s hosting of COP26 and that Egypt would assume the presidency of COP27 next year.
The prince has a deep interest in environmental issues and will look for ways to cooperate on climate change.