UK royals set to boost ties with Qatar, Oman

Prince Charles, Duchess of Cornwall to undertake official visits to the Gulf region next month
Prince Charles and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall
By Andy Sambidge
Sat 16 Feb 2013 10:17 AM

The British Government has asked The Prince of Wales and his wife, The Duchess of Cornwall, to undertake official visits to Qatar, Oman and Jordan next month.

The tour from March 11-19 aims to help to strengthen the UK’s bilateral relations with key partners in the region, according to a statement on the official website of Prince Charles.

The visits will also aim to support UK economic interests by highlighting the growing commercial links between British companies and their counterparts in Jordan, Qatar and Oman, and by encouraging the development of an enterprise culture in the private sector in each country.

Other themes of the tour will include military collaboration, opportunities for women in society, inter-faith dialogue, education and environmental sustainability, the statement added.

The tour starts in Jordan and will feature meetings with The King and Queen, an inter-faith gathering, a major business conference and events to highlight UK-Jordanian collaboration in the creative industries and in education.

In Qatar, as well as meeting with the Qatari royal family and senior officials, the UK royals will be shown how the country is tackling its food security challenges and visit British technology, innovation and educational partnerships with Qatar.

They will attend a major event to celebrate the UK-Qatar Year of Culture 2013.

The final leg of the trip will be to Oman, where Charles and Camilla will be the guests of the Sultan.

Engagements will cover military personnel, health and education issues, the support being given to young entrepreneurs by a specialist new-business unit and a regional visit to see an ancient form of sustainable water irrigation.

In all three countries, the Duchess of Cornwall will undertake solo engagements focusing on the growing opportunities for women in society, the statement said.

She will also visit several primary schools to learn about education and literacy programmes run in conjunction with the British Council.

The Prince of Wales has previously made two official visits to Jordan, in 1993 and 2004, three to Qatar, in 1986, 1997 and 2007, and four to Oman, in 1986, 1995, 1999 and 2003.

It will be The Duchess’s first official visit to Jordan and Oman. She visited Qatar with Charles in 2007. 

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