Britain's Prince Charles to mark Auschwitz liberation in Jerusalem

LONDON (Reuters) - Prince Charles will commemorate the liberation of Auschwitz 75 years ago when he visits Jerusalem later this month, his office said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: Britain's Queen Elizabeth and Britain's Prince Charles are driven to the Houses of Parliament to speak at the State Opening of Parliament in London, Britain December 19, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

He will be the most senior British royal to pay an official visit to Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Charles will attend the World Holocaust Forum at the Holocaust remembrance centre Yad Vashem on Jan. 24 to mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in southern Poland, the largest Nazi death camp in World War Two.

He will also meet British Holocaust survivors who will be travelling to Israel for the event.

“The prince is honoured to be among the small number of international leaders who have been invited to address the event,” Scott Furssedonn-Wood, the prince’s Deputy Private Secretary, told reporters.

During his two-day visit, Charles will meet Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.

Full details of the trip were still being finalised but he hoped to visit his grandmother’s grave in Jerusalem and might visit other holy sites, his office said.

The heir-to-the-throne has visited Jerusalem twice before in a private capacity for the funerals of Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

In 2018, Charles’s son Prince William became the first British royal to visit Israel and the Palestinian Territories in an official capacity in 2018.

En route to the Middle East, Charles will stop off at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to launch the Sustainable Markets Council, designed to bring together the private, public and philanthropic sectors to find ways to decarbonise the global economy.

“Given that we understand the problem, the prince believes we must now focus on the solutions,” said Furssedonn-Wood.

The 71-year-old royal, who has campaigned on environmental issues for decades, “feels strongly that we are at a crucial point in human history when there may still be time to prevent irreversible damage to our planet”, he added.

Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Giles Elgood