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King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia begin historic state visit to Jordan

King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia of Sweden have begun their three-day state Visit to Jordan. 

The royal couple and the Swedish delegation landed at Amman’s Queen Alia International Airport and, after receiving the welcome from authorities, including the Swedish Ambassador, were escorted to Al Husseiniya Palace, where the visit officially began with the welcome ceremony. 

After the traditional playing of the two national anthems, King Abdullah and King Carl XVI Gustaf reviewed the troops that were stationed in front of the palace, before the two royal couples, together with Crown Prince Hussein of Jordan, posed for photographers in front of a display of Swedish and Jordanian flags. 

The four then made their way inside the palace, where the two heads of state gave a short press conference, highlighting the reasons for the state visit and the strong ties that bond Sweden and Jordan. 

This was followed by a meeting between the two Kings and their respective delegations, during which “bilateral ties and the latest regional and international developments” were discussed, according to the Royal Hashemite Court. At some point during the conversation, the delegations were expanded by the arrival of Queen Silvia, Queen Rania and Crown Prince Hussein. 

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After a quick private lunch, the King and Queen of Sweden, accompanied by Queen Rania, visited the Queen Rania Centre, which was founded by the Jordan River Foundation in 2005. The centre runs various programmes, most of which are focused on women and children and on the effort to alleviate poverty and promote social justice. Some of the projects are also run in collaboration with IKEA, one of Sweden’s most international brands. 

Then King Carl XVI Gustaf undertook a meeting with the Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher Al Khasawneh, in which the status of bilateral relations between the two countries and ways to improve them was discussed. 

The King and Queen then moved to the Swedish Embassy in Amman, where they officially opened the renovated building, as well as the Swedish Dialogue Institute for the Middle East and North Africa. 

The events of day one of the visit ended with the traditional state banquet hosted by King Abdullah and Queen Rania at Al Husseiniya Palace, during which both heads of state gave speeches. In particular, King Carl XVI Gustaf said: “I am convinced that this cooperation will continue to grow in the years to come.”

The visit is ongoing and will end on Thursday, 17 November. The King and Queen of Sweden are travelling with a delegation that also includes the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the State Secretary, as well as representatives from around 20 Swedish companies with interests in Jordan and the Middle East. 

The visit comes at the invitation of King Abdullah of Jordan, and it is the first state visit between the two countries in almost 20 years. The last one was King Abdullah and Queen Rania being welcomed in Stockholm in 2003. The previous one was made by King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia to Jordan in 1989 when the country was still under the rule of King Abdullah’s father, the late King Hussein.