The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall are to carry out the first official royal visit to Cyprus for 27 years.
Charles and Camilla will travel to the eastern Mediterranean republic for a four-day stay in March to recognise the work of the UN Peacekeeping Force and celebrate traditional Cypriot culture.
Their trip will be followed by a tour to Jordan, and beforehand, Charles will pay a solo visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina to pay his respects in the 25th anniversary year of the Srebrenica genocide.
The tour of Cyprus – the first since the Queen’s visit in 1993 – comes in the year marking the 60th anniversary of the island’s independence from British colonial rule.
The Queen’s trip was met with protests amid objections to the monarch receiving the golden key to the capital, Nicosia.
Cypriot nationalists held the Queen personally responsible for the executions in 1955 of nine Eoka guerrilla fighters arrested during the violent independence struggle, saying she could have commuted their death sentences.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went to RAF Akrotiri in December 2018, but the military base is in the Western Sovereign Base area – a British Overseas Territory.
Cyprus has been divided since Turkey invaded in 1974 after a failed coup by supporters of union with Greece.
The island joined the EU in 2004, but only the southern part enjoys full membership benefits.
The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will jointly visit the Republic of Cyprus 🇨🇾 and Jordan 🇯🇴 next month.— The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall (@ClarenceHouse) February 25, 2020
Prior to this, The Prince will also visit Bosnia and Herzegovina 🇧🇦
Read more about Their Royal Highnesses’ forthcoming Spring Tour ➡️ https://t.co/R6wmPxKVUw pic.twitter.com/cGTB4Oeh7x
The royal visit is aimed at celebrating ties between the island and the UK, and the programme will include a trip to the UN Buffer Zone to acknowledge the peacekeeping work being undertaken by the UN, and highlight initiatives aimed at building links between the communities of Cyprus, with the couple meeting both Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot community members.
Cyprus is, according to legend, the birthplace of the ancient Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite.
Charles and Camilla will experience traditional Cypriot culture, food and crafts, visiting Nicosia, the Troodos mountains, and the Larnaca district.
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, the prince will carry out engagements in Sarajevo and Srebrenica.
He will visit the memorial at Srebrenica and pay his respects to the victims of the mass slaughter, accompanied by survivors and mothers who are still looking for their missing family members.
More than 8,000 Muslim men and boys were murdered by Bosnian Serb troops in the town in July 1995 in the worst atrocity in Europe since the Second World War.
24 years later, approximately 1,000 people are still missing from the #Srebrenica genocide as well as 12,000 from the region. “Upholding a transparent and truthful account of what happened is essential for peace,” -@TheICMP Director-General @KatBomberger.https://t.co/o3jRH2f9Op pic.twitter.com/q0rgx9S2ll— Remembering Srebrenica (@SrebrenicaUK) July 25, 2019
Charles has previously met families of the missing, and has a long-standing commitment to post-conflict reconciliation in the Western Balkans.
In Sarajevo, the prince will call on the tripartite presidency, and also learn how the UK has been supporting survivors of wartime sexual violence.
He will also visit historic sites within the old town, and meet social entrepreneurs and activists working to create a sustainable future.
In Jordan, Charles and Camilla will hear how the country is supporting its large influx of refugees.
There are more than a million refugees in the Middle Eastern kingdom – the majority from war-torn Syria.
The prince has a warm relationship with the Jordanian royal family, and has visited the country a number of times.
Charles will join an interfaith discussion on religious freedom and tolerance led by King Abdullah II, while Camilla will see the work of Queen Rania aimed at protecting vulnerable children and mothers.
The couple will visit the capital, Amman, tour a unique hillside town once part of the Greek and Roman Decapolis, and travel to the city of Salt.
Charles will visit Bosnia and Herzegovina on March 17 and 18, be joined by Camilla in Cyprus from March 18 to 21, and they will be in Jordan together until March 25.