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King and Queen of Jordan begin official visit to the Netherlands

Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan began their two-day official visit to the Netherlands, on the invitation of King Willem-Alexander, yesterday morning after arriving in the country on the 19th.

The day began with an official welcome ceremony attended by King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima at Noordeinde Palace in The Hague. Both Kings later inspected the troops before the group met World Class students at the Diligentia theatre. The students are part of a programme organised by The Hague municipality and works to strengthen ties between local students and the city.

King Abdullah spoke at the World Class event about tolerance and respect for different religions and cultures. His Majesty said, “Humanity is filled with diversity—different religions, different communities, different cultures. But every day, in the news, we see anti-diversity; sectarian fears and conflicts; people excluding and maltreating those they see as ‘the Other’—minorities, or people of a different faith, even women, half of humankind.

“We hear angry, suspicious hate speech; and then, there are also these extremist groups misusing religion, in an effort to gain power over people and drive communities apart. And allowing these voices to divide humanity is profoundly dangerous. Our world today is hyper-connected. Global cooperation is absolutely necessary to meet our challenges because our challenges are shared.”

The King went on to speak of faith and love to the students, “Indeed, the three monotheistic faiths, Islam, Christianity and Judaism, as well as other world religions, have in common these two, greatest commandments: to love God and love our neighbour. And there is no better guide to the peace and justice our world deserves. And students, your generation, has a central role; not only because you are humanity’s future, but because, in our rapidly changing world, you are already a driving force. You have the keys to the car, and we need you to steer us as well.”

His full speech can be read here.

Queen Máxima and Queen Rania then visited the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague to be given a guided tour of Piet Mondrian’s work. Mondrian was a founder of the artistic movement De Stijl. Their Majesties also watched as pupils completed various interactive art assignments as part of the “Wonderkamers.”

Photo: @QueenRania/Twitter/Copyright, 2018 Royal Hashemite Court

While their wives were at the Gemeentemuseum, the Kings of Jordan and the Netherlands attended a roundtable discussion regarding counterterrorism where they spoke to experts from Dutch security sector organisations. Afterwards, an agreement was signed “to help forge a closer partnership between Jordan and the Netherlands on counterterrorism,” according to the Royal House of the Netherlands.

In the evening, the Dutch King and Queen hosted an official dinner for the King and Queen of Jordan at Noordeinde Palace. Princess Beatrix, Princess Margriet and Prince Constantijn were also in attendance. King Willem-Alexander spoke at the meal saying, in part, “As you know, it was our parents who laid the foundations for the close friendship that unites our families. Your father, King Hussein – may his soul rest in peace – held a special place in my mother’s heart. When we think of him, it is with great warmth and gratitude. Almost 20 years after his passing, our fond memories of him remain.

“We consider ourselves very fortunate, Your Majesty, that you continue to value Jordan’s special relationship with the Netherlands and with our family. Together with Queen Rania, you are committed to strengthening this bond. And so, this visit serves to highlight our mutual affection and friendship.

“Jordan is a beacon of stability in a region fraught with conflict. With God’s grace, it provides shelter in a turbulent neighbourhood. You are doing vital work to support the region.”

Their visit concludes today where King Abdullah and Queen Rania will have lunch with King Willem-Alexander, Queen Máxima and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. Jordan’s King will meet the Dutch Parliament in the morning before the dinner. The Queens will also visit the Technology & IT Campus of the Mondriaan Regional Training Centre. The day includes other visits to important locations in The Hague before Abdullah and Rania return home to Jordan.

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