Israel's president urges William to deliver 'message of peace' to Palestinian leader

PA

The Duke of Cambridge has been urged by Israel's president to take a "message of peace" to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and encourage him to take the "first step" with Israel to end the "tragedy" between their people.

President Reuven Rivlin's comments have drawn William into the politics of the region and given the remaining days of his historic Middle East tour greater importance.

William is due to sit down for talks with Mr Abbas, the Palestinian Authority President, in the coming days when he visits Ramallah in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Speaking at his official residence during a meeting with the duke and his small delegation Mr Rivlin said: "I know you are going to meet President Abbas, I would like you to send him a message of peace and tell him it is about time, it is about time that we have to find together the way to build confidence.

"Build confidence as a first step to bring to understanding that we have to bring to an end the tragedy between us that goes along for more than 120 years."

The duke's visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is the first time a member of the Royal Family has travelled to the areas at the request of the Government, and something William was keen to do.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

It comes during a period of tension in the area - dozens of Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces during protests this year at the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip in the run-up to celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel.

In response to the president's comments William said he was "hoping that peace in the area can be achieved".