Britain's Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, are welcomed by Egypt's President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi and his wife Entissar Amer, at the presidential palace, in Cairo, on November 18, 2021. Image Credit: REUTERS

Cairo: Britain’s Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, arrived in Cairo on Thursday for the first time in 15 years, hoping to cement bilateral ties. The visit is part of the royal couple’s first tour since the start of COVID-19.

After arrival in Cairo, the royal couple received a formal welcome by President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi at the presidential palace, before meeting with top Muslim and Christian leaders.

The royal couple then met with the Sunni Muslim world’s top religious authority, Grand Imam of Al Azhar Mosque Ahmad Al Tayeb, as well as with Archbishop of the Anglican Province of Alexandria Samy Fawzy.

Egyptian Islamic scholar and the current Grand Imam of Al Azhar mosque, Sheikh Ahmed Al Tayeb (left), receives Prince Charles, and Camilla, upon their arrival at the mosque in Cairo on November 18, 2021. Image Credit: AFP

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.

The Prince of Wales helped start a UK academic scholarship program which allows Al Azhar scholars to pursue degrees in Islamic studies at British universities before returning to Al Azhar to work as faculty members. Launched in 2015, the program aims to promote mutual understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Last week, the British Ambassador Gareth Bayley wrote on Twitter that the their highnesses will be discussing UK-Egypt cooperation on climate change and bilateral relations. Egypt has been selected to host the UN climate change conference COP27 next year.

While Charles was at the interfaith reception, Camilla visited a low-income settlement in Cairo, Ezbet Kheirallah, where the British Council has been carrying out social development programmes since 2017.

The royals were 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.