CAIRO — Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, arrive in Cairo today for the first time in 15 years, hoping to promote tolerance and cement bilateral ties. The visit is part of the royal couple’s first tour since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is also their first visit to Egypt since the country was rocked by a popular uprising in 2011 that was followed by years of political turmoil.
After arriving in Cairo, the royal couple received a formal welcome by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the presidential palace, before meeting with top Muslim and Christian leaders. Under Sissi, a former general, Egypt has achieved a degree of stability but the government has also overseen the largest crackdown on political opposition in decades.
The royal couple then met with the Sunni Muslim world’s top religious authority, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque Ahmed al-Tayeb, as well as with Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Alexandria Samy Fawzy.
After that, Charles headed to an interfaith reception at Al-Azhar Mosque, the oldest Sunni institution in the Muslim world. He was also to meet with students.
Last week, the British Ambassador Gareth Bayley wrote on Twitter that the their highnesses will be discussing UK-Egypt cooperation on climate change, religious tolerance and bilateral relations. Egypt has been selected to host the UN climate change conference COP27 next year.
The royals are also expected to visit some of Egypt’s famous archaeological sites, including the Pyramids at Giza.
Earlier this week, Charles and Camilla concluded a three-day visit to Jordan, where they met with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Queen Rania and visited a series of religious and historical sites.