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Mideast envoy role for UK prince?

Prince Charles has close links to the Saudi royals
Prince Charles has close links to the Saudi royals  

LONDON, England -- The Prince of Wales may act as an unofficial envoy in the war against terrorism, it has emerged.

It is understood his close contacts with Saudi Arabia and sympathetic understanding of Islam would help the international coalition shore up support in the Arab world.

St James' Palace -- the prince's official residence in London -- and Downing Street both refused to give details of what the Prince's role could be, but sources confirmed it was something that was being looked at.

St James' Palace told the Press Association: "The Palace and the Government are in touch over a whole range of issues on a regular basis."

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A Downing Street spokesman said: "It's well-known that the Prince of Wales has long been interested in Islam and has a high reputation in the Muslim world.

"We would of course support any efforts he made to promote good relations in the Muslim community."

Prime Minister Tony Blair and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw have both undertaken diplomatic missions to Muslim countries to seek their support against the terrorists responsible for the attacks on America.

But it is thought Prince Charles, who has close links with the Saudi Arabian royal family and has previously expressed an affinity with Islam, could play a key role in maintaining that support.

Following the attacks last month, the prince visited a mosque in east London to show his support for the British Muslim community.

"I very much wanted to come here to show how much I minded about and cared about the Islamic community in this country, particularly at a time when it's so difficult for everybody," he said.

"And also to show, above all, my support for those people of whatever faith who utterly reject violence.

"And, at the same time, to show my support for those who believe more than anything else in the overwhelming importance of tolerance, compassion and understanding -- and I hope we can get that message across."


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• The Prince of Wales
• 10 Downing Street

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