Monday, 19 November 2007

Israel, Saudi Arabia and Prince Charles

The Guardian reports that "Clarence House rebuffed an invitation for the Prince of Wales to visit Jerusalem because of fears that Israel would use the prince to "help burnish its international image"...Last night a Clarence House spokesman said the invitation had been addressed to officials and not the prince. Any potential visit by the Prince of Wales would be undertaken at the recommendation of the government, he added. "Israel is at the centre of the Middle East peace process. It's a highly political situation. If you imagine how a visit would be organised you see the political difficulties. There is no recommendation between now and 2009 for him to visit Israel.""

So a visit to the only liberal democracy in the Middle East would be "highly political" and might "burnish (Israel's) international image" but granting a full state visit to the ruler of Saudi Arabia is just fine and dandy. The UK Foreign Office has been full of Arabists for years and it is on their advice that this decision was made. Although Prince Charles' pro Islamic views worry me greatly as well.

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