Anglican Leader to Visit Kotel in 5 Day Mideast Visit

The leader of the world's Anglicans is to make a five-day visit to Israel, Egypt and Jordan. He is set to visit Western Wall, Yad Vashem.

Contact Editor
Rina Tzvi ,

Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury

The leader of the world's Anglicans is to make a five-day visit to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, his office said in a statement.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the spiritual leader of the Church of England, was to meet with religious leaders, visit holy sites and see community projects, said Lambeth Palace, according to the AFP news agency.

It will be his first visit to Israel since his enthronement in March as leader of the world's 80 million Anglicans.

The trip comes after Welby visited Rome on June 14 and met with Pope Francis for the first time, amid efforts to reconcile Anglicans and Roman Catholics.

"Archbishop Justin is making this trip early in his ministry because of the significance of the region, the importance of the relationships that his office has there, and because he is keenly aware of the particular pressures on the region at the moment -- not least the devastating conflict in Syria, and its impact more widely," Lambeth Palace said in a statement, according to AFP.

In Jerusalem, he will visit the Western Wall, the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Temple Mount.

He will also meet with the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, patriarchs and church leaders.

He will be staying with Suheil Dawani, the Anglican bishop in Jerusalem, who will accompany him on all his visits there.

In Cairo, Welby will meet Pope Tawadros II, the head of Egypt's Coptic Church, and Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the grand imam of Al-Azhar, the top Sunni Muslim authority, according to AFP,