The Prince of Wales has urged the UK and Jordan to make protecting the environment a priority as the two nations “build back after Covid-19”.
In a speech marking the 100th anniversary of the founding of Jordan, Charles said Britain’s former protectorate was a voice of “moderation, understanding and tolerance” in the region under the leadership of King Abdullah II.
The prince, who has spent two days touring Jordan with the Duchess of Cornwall, learning about its heritage, work supporting refugees and efforts to bring religions together, said it was a “special joy” to be among friends after the “sorrow, separation and grief” of Covid.
The future king noted the role Britain played – especially soldier and adventurer Lawrence of Arabia – in helping to shape the Middle East with regional figures.
Charles told the guests at the Jordan Museum: “As both our countries build back after Covid-19, I need hardly say that we must place a priority as we have never done before on protection of our environment.”
He highlighted how Jordan’s serious water shortage issue meant climate change was “keenly” felt, adding: “I have recently attended the Cop26 climate summit in the UK where some important steps were taken to limit the global rise in temperatures.
“Success will require the sustained commitment of the global community to ensure that countries like Jordan have the support they need to find ways of adapting to a changing climate.”
Charles also evoked the spirit of TE Lawrence – famous for his role fighting alongside Arabs during the revolt against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.
The prince said: “There can be little doubt that the great Arab revolt led by Hashemite Sharif Al Hussein Bin Ali changed the face of the Middle East.
“TE Lawrence’s chronicles of their struggle gave the Arab forces a near-mythical place in British memory, and indeed across the world.
“But the battered carriage from the Hijaz railway, which rests outside this museum, reminds us that their acts of courage were no myth.
“Those historic events, which saw British soldiers fighting side by side with their Arab partners, laid the foundation for the eventual establishment of the Jordanian state.”