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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 February 2007, 10:45 GMT
Royals begin tour of Gulf states
The Duchess of Cornwall and the Prince of Wales
Charles and Camilla's visit is set to last 10 days
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have begun their tour of states in the Gulf region by visiting members of Kuwait's ruling family.

The royal couple held an audience with the state's Emir, Crown Prince and Prime Minister at Bayan Palace.

Charles and Camilla's trip will take in visits to Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates.

The 10-day tour is likely to be the last major engagement for Camilla before her hysterectomy operation.

Clarence House said the tour is being held to "reinforce Britain's friendship with key allies".

At the Emir's palace in Kuwait City, Charles and Camilla met Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Kuwait's 15th Emir, his younger brother, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, and his cousin, Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

The Prince of Wales will later visit British officers from various services who train students - mainly Kuwaiti ones - at a military staff college in Kuwait City.

'Full tour'

Camilla is undertaking a number of separate engagements.

Her first visit took in the Centre for Child Evaluation and Teaching that works with youngsters with learning difficulties.

On Monday, the couple were greeted by Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, heir to the Emir of Kuwait, when their private chartered plane landed at the capital Kuwait City.

Britain's Ambassador in Kuwait Stuart Laing said: "From the view of the British government we are delighted their royal highnesses have come to Kuwait."

He said the couple were admired for taking on "a very full tour", with a "very heavy list of engagements".

Charles has travelled to the region on a number of occasions, most recently last year to Kuwait following the death of the country's Emir and in 2004 to the UAE for the funeral of Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nanyan.

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