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Prince Charles’s Visit to The Middle East: Saudi Arabia

On Tuesday morning, The Prince of Wales departed Kuwait to continue his visit in the Middle East. After a short hour flight, Prince Charles arrived at King Khalid International Airport, Riyadh where he was greeted by HM Ambassador Simon Collis and the Governor of Riyadh, HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar.

Prince Faisal escorted Charles through the assembled Guard of Honour into the Royal Terminal building. The delegation enjoyed Arabic coffee and dates as part of a traditional welcome before departing the Royal Terminal.

Charles is visiting visit Saudi Arabia Tuesday and Wednesday. Prior to his visit this week, The Prince has made 11 official visits to the country since 1986.

The last visit he made was in January to pay his condolences following the death of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The Prince was representing The Queen.

Tuesday was a full schedule for the Prince. The first event of the day had Charles attend a bilateral meeting with The Crown Prince, HRH Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz at Al Yamama Palace.

Following the first scheduled meeting at Al Yamama Palace, Charles attended a second bilateral meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at Al Ergah Palace in Riyadh. After the meeting, he appeared at a lunch hosted by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

It was during this meeting, the case of jailed Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi was raised by Prince Charles.

Badawi’s wife told ITV News she hoped The Prince of Wales, “speaks about Raif’s situation immediately and asks for his immediate release.”

Badawi was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes after establishing a website for Saudi liberals and being charged of insulting Islam.

The busy day continued with two additional bilateral meetings. Charles met first with the Minister for The National Guard, HRH Prince Miteb bin Abdullah. He also sat down and spoke with the Head of The Department for International Security and Minister of State, Dr. Abdulrahman Al Hadlaq.

Later in the afternoon, Charles invested Mr. Mohammad Adbul Latif Jameel with a honourary knighthood at the British Ambassador’s residence in Riyadh.

Her Majesty awards honourary knighthoods on the advice of the foreign secretary, to those who have made important contributions to British interests.

“I am deeply humbled that Her Majesty the Queen would see fit to bestow this honor upon me. This award is a great honor for my family and me, and also reflects the hard work and support of the hundreds of ALJCI team members who run the numerous programs that help make such a difference,” Jameel commented late last year when notified about the honour.

Mr. Jameel is a philanthropist who supports the arts. He played an important part in the project to restore the Islamic Gallery housed in the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives also created the Jameel Prize in partnership with the Victoria & Albert Museum.

The prize awarded every two years, is an international art prize conferred to up-and-coming artists and designers inspired by Islamic traditions of art, craft and design.

The busy day of events came to a close as The Prince of Wales attended a dinner hosted by HRH Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

On Wednesday, Prince Charles will continue his visit to Saudi Arabia. Thursday, he will depart for Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Featured Photo Credit: photo credit: Prince Charles in Point Reyes Station, CA via photopin (license)

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