William and Kate embark on ‘complex’ Pakistan visit

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Britain’s Prince William and his wife Kate visit Pakistan next week in what Kensington Palace has described as the most complex tour undertaken by the couple, given the security and logistical issues.

FILE PHOTO: Britain’s Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge visit St Josephs SureStart Facility in Ballymena, Northern Ireland February 28, 2019. Jeff J Mitchell/Pool via REUTERS

The five-day visit comes as Britain seeks to reinvigorate its foreign relationships with Brexit looming, while Pakistan works to repair its global image to boost tourism and investment.

It will be the first visit to Pakistan by members of the British royal family in more than a decade, after royal heir Prince Charles and his wife Camilla in 2006.

William and Kate arrive on Monday on a trip that will include the mountainous north, the capital Islamabad and the city of Lahore, with a focus on climate change, access to education and security.

“This is the most complex tour undertaken by the duke and duchess to date, given the logistical and security considerations,” their communications secretary said.

The visit, at the request of the British foreign office, represents a soft power push, foreign policy experts and officials say, which may help both sides further their diplomatic aims.

“The timing of the upcoming royal visit is important for both Pakistan and the United Kingdom,” said Khalid Jarral, a member of the Asia Research Institute specializing in economic diplomacy at the University of Nottingham, adding that the UK is re-adjusting its global relationships and seeking fresh trade opportunities as it cuts ties with the European Union.

Yasmin Qureshi, a British member of Parliament and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Pakistan,

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