Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 14 December 2019

UK’s Prince William kicks off Gulf visit in Kuwait

British prince will also visit Oman on four-day tour of Gulf

The UK’s Duke of Cambridge has landed in Kuwait, beginning a visit to the Gulf that will focus on education, military links and the environment.

Travelling solo, Prince William arrived at Kuwait International Airport on Sunday evening. He will later visit Oman.

The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office requested the trip, in which he “will take in both countries’ unique cultures, their beautiful landscapes and diverse communities”, Kensington Palace said.

William will visit Kuwait City and Muscat, but also venture out into Kuwait’s deserts and Oman’s wadis to learn more about how both nations are acting to protect their unique natural environments.

While in Kuwait, he will take part in celebrations for the 120th anniversary of the signing of the 1899 Treaty of Friendship between the country and the UK. The treaty was originally signed on January 23, 1899.

William plans to meet a range of young people from the region. He will visit organisations educating and empowering young people, and projects that help them to develop important life skills such as leadership and resilience.

Just before leaving the UK on Sunday, William threw his support behind an app to prevent cyber bullying, saying it “can only be a good thing for children's digital well-being and mental health".

His trip will also include the UK’s military links with the two nations.

William will join Kuwaiti and British troops undertaking a desert warrior exercise.

He will later travel to Musandam to learn more about the Royal Navy of Oman’s responsibilities in monitoring maritime traffic passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

The strait is an increasingly important strategic area for the UK’s military after the seizure of a British-flagged tanker by Iran in July.

The Stena Impero was detained for two months while travelling through the busy narrow shipping lane and eventually released on September 27.

William’s father, Prince Charles, visited Kuwait in 2015 and Oman in 2016. On the same visit, he and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, visited the UAE and Bahrain.

William's grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, has visited the sultanate twice, in 1979 and 2010.

William is taking on a larger diplomatic role as the Queen steps back from foreign travel. Her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, retired from public duties in 2017.

Updated: December 2, 2019 09:39 AM

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