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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski )
An Ugandan choir composed of children who have been orphaned by AIDS is coming to perform in Israel this month, after a legal snafu over who would serve as their legal guardian was sorted out.
The group of 17 children aged three to 13 are part of the Watoto Children's Choir, which raises global awareness of the AIDS pandemic in Africa.
The choir, which has performed at the White House and the Scottish Parliament, will appear, among other places, at the Abu Ghosh music festival and the Feast of the Tabernacles celebrations organized every year during Succot by the International Christian Embassy, a Jerusalem-based evangelical organization.
The children's visit received the go-ahead Monday after the eleventh-hour intervention of Interior Minister Meir Sheetrit and Christian Embassy officials over who would be responsible for the children while in Israel, officials said.
According to the agreement reached, the head of the International Christian Embassy, Malcolm Hedding, pledged to take responsibility for the Christian group, enabling the Interior Ministry to issue their entry visas.
"We are very glad that the matter has been resolved," Hedding said, "and it will be a real joy and pleasure to welcome them to Israel."