KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent — Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves will leave here on Saturday for an official visit to three countries over the next 15 days, the Office of the Prime Minister announced on Thursday.
Gonsalves will travel to Israel to visit the City of Bethlehem, followed by official visits to Azerbaijan and then Georgia.
Dr. Gonsalves will be accompanied by his wife Eloise Gonsalves, his son Storm Gonsalves, and Sergeant Adrian Francois of his security detail.
All expenses related to Storm Gonsalves will be borne by Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves in his individual capacity.
During the visit the Prime Minister will be involved in talks with government officials, related to airport development, training, cultural exchanges and health.
It is expected that he will attend Christmas Day Mass at a Roman Catholic Church in Bethlehem.
The Prime Minister is expected to return to the state on Jan. 3.
“I have been invited by the President of the Palestinian Authority, my friend, Mamoud Abbas,” Gonsalves said at a rally of the ruling Unity Labour Party (ULP) Sunday night,” the Prime Minister siad when he first announced the trip to Bethlehem.
“He (Abbas) says he wants me to go to church with him — midnight mass — at the Church of the Nativity, where Christ was born,” Gonsalves further siad then.
“That church was built in the year 300-and-something –a long time ago,” Gonsalves said.
“I want to go there and feel the Spirit. I want to be renewed as an eagle in the place of the birth of our Lord and Saviour. But I want to do some things in one or two places. So, I am trying to finalise them,” he further added.