Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will travel to Israel for a 12-day visit in May. It will be Welby’s first visit to the region since 2013.
According to a Guardian report, during his visit the Archbishop is planning to meet with Christian leaders in Bethlehem as well as Israeli and Palestinian leaders. He also plans to hold interfaith events “to advance peace and coexistence”.
Lambeth Palace said Welby’s central priority on the trip was “to affirm the Christian community in the Holy Land, to support and encourage the work of the Anglican St George’s Cathedral in East Jerusalem and to identify challenges regarding religious freedom in the region.”
The report says that Welby is hoping to meet Reuven Rivlin and Mahmoud Abbas. Meetings are also being sought with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and controversial PLO negotiator Hanan Ashrawi, who is reportedly an Anglican.
Archbishop Welby will also tour religious sites in Israel including Jerusalem, Nazareth and the Galilee.