Both Israeli chief rabbis cancel on the Archbishop of Canterbury

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby reads a psalm at the Western Wall in Jerusalem during his first official visit to Israel this week (Photo: Getty Images)

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby reads a psalm at the Western Wall in Jerusalem during his first official visit to Israel this week (Photo: Getty Images)

The Archbishop of Canterbury was unable to meet Israel’s two chief rabbis this week, after scheduled talks with both Rabbis were cancelled.

Archbishop Justin Welby was due to sit down with Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger and Sephardi Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar on Thursday. However, plans were thrown into disarray when Rabbi Metzger was placed under house arrest amid corruption charges.

The meeting was rearranged to include just Rabbi Amar, but the Sephardi leader had to pull out at short notice when he was reportedly forced to extend his trip to Spain yesterday after the schedule of King Juan Carlos I was altered.

The archbishop met the director of the Chief Rabbinate instead.

During his visit to the Israeli capital, the archbishop voiced his support for Israel, stating that the nation “has a right to exist in security and peace within internationally agreed boundaries.”

Archbishop Welby also travelled to Ramallah to see Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. In a speech, he called for “justice, security and peace for the Palestinian people”.

Last updated: 5:28pm, June 28 2013