Prince William of England reportedly rejected the request of Israeli Mayor Nir Barkat to meet in Jerusalem. According to reports from Hadashot TV, Barkat called on members of the United Kingdom who were visiting the Middle East to meet in Jerusalem on Wednesday (27/6) night.
Prince William lives at King David Hotel in Jerusalem, a guest of honor at the reception of the British Consulate in East Jerusalem on Wednesday night.
Quoted from the Times of Israel, British Embassy officials told Barkat that Prince William would be pleased to meet the mayor at a reception held at Britain’s David Quarrey’s residence in Ramat Gan in Tel Aviv on Tuesday (26/6) . But the Prince did not want to meet in Jerusalem.
At the reception, Prince William met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
“If the Prince meets with the Mayor of Jerusalem at a meeting, it will be implied in England’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” the Times of Israel said Wednesday (27/6).
Barkat declined the invitation of Prince William to attend the reception on Tuesday (26/6). Through television, Barkat said that if they could not meet in Jerusalem, he preferred not to meet Prince William at all.
Barkat’s aide said Barkat refused to meet the Prince elsewhere was “to honor Jerusalem”.
British officials confirmed Barkat, along with President Rivlin, Prime Minister Netanyahu, several ministers, and prominent people in Israel including 350 guests who were invited to reception at Ambassador Quarrey’s home in Ramat Gan, Tel Aviv.
Earlier, Prince William had met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, West Bank, Wednesday (27/6).
To Abbas, Prince William said that he “is glad the two countries can work very closely together.”
According to the Times of Israel, the commentary, referring to the recognition of Palestine as a country, has the potential to lead to a diplomatic incident. Israel opposes any attempt to recognize Palestine as a country before a peace deal is signed.
Television reports also say that Israel is protesting against a British calling the Old City of Jerusalem “the occupied Palestinian territories,” last week.
Without mentioning the statement of Prince William during his meeting, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the British Foreign Office affirmed that “the British government supports the creation of a sovereign, self-sustaining and peaceful Palestinian state living in peace and security, alongside Israel.” Britain will recognize a Palestinian state if help bring about peace. ”
Quarrey’s ambassador last week defended the statement of the Old City of Jerusalem as “occupied Palestinian territory” in the itinerary list, or prince’s travel plans.
“All the terms used in this plan, consistent with the years of British government practice, are consistent with British government policy,” Quarrey said.