Britain’s longest-reigning Queen Elizabeth II has just passed away. Charles III automatically becomes king after his death. Prince Charles got the throne after 73 long years.
The British royal family is constitutionally bound to stay away from political issues. But when it comes to the Middle East, it’s no secret that the bottom line is the bottom line. Charles has developed close ties with the ruling families of the Gulf states for decades.
He also expressed sympathy for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. Analysts have given some insight into Charles’s attitude towards the Middle East. Some of them are-
Role in promoting UK arms exports to the Middle East
According to the report, Charles has been instrumental in advancing 14.5 billion pounds ($16.8 billion) of UK arms exports to the monarchy over the past decade.
Charles has held 95 meetings with eight Middle Eastern states since the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings. Among the countries, whose power and control were briefly threatened by the protests.
According to a 300-page book titled Charles at Seventy: Thoughts, Hopes and Dreams, published in 2018, Charles told UK ministers he no longer wanted to sell arms on behalf of British companies through his Gulf connections.
Sympathy for the Palestinian people
During his first official visit to the occupied West Bank in January 2020, Charles expressed his condolences after witnessing the ‘suffering’ and ‘suffering’ inflicted on the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation.
“My dearest wish is that the future brings freedom, justice and equality for all Palestinians, enabling them to thrive and prosper,” Charles said during a speech in Bethlehem.
Sky News TV said at the time that the speech was “the biggest show of (public) support for the Palestinians by a member of the royal family”.
According to Jobson, Charles believed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the root cause of ‘hatred’ and all ‘pent-up poison’ throughout the Islamic world.
Close relations with the Gulf Arab states
Charles III’s important links with the Gulf states are reinforced by decades of long-standing and respectful relations between the British royal family and Gulf ruling families.
But he has often found himself in controversy for accepting cash donations.
A report this year revealed that Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al-Thani, the former prime minister of Qatar between 2011-2015, personally gave her three million euros in cash, some of which was in shopping bags.
Charles’ office claimed the money was transferred to one of his charities after all procedures had been properly followed.
At the time, a senior royal source said, she would no longer accept large sums of cash for her charity.
Last year, an investigation by the London Metropolitan Police revealed that Michael Fawcett, a close aide of Charles, had arranged for Saudi billionaire Mahfouz Murray Mubarak bin Mahfouz to be granted royal honors and even British citizenship. He was given one and a half million British pounds for this work.
Opposition to the Iraq War in 2003
The book, written by Robert Jobson in collaboration with Clarence House, also contains some information on the royals’ views on the 2003 Iraq War.
Jobson wrote that Charles was a passionate opponent of the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, and that he was ‘sinful of despair’ over then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s support for the war, and he may have tried to argue against it.
He also wrote, ‘He told political figures and people in his trusted circle that he found the administration of President George W. Bush to be ‘terrible’ and what he believed to be Blair’s lack of foresight. He thought Blair was behaving like Bush’s ‘poodle’ and said so.’