State visit to Jordan
On 15–17 November, The King and Queen carried out a three-day state visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan at the invitation of HM King Abdullah II. Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström and State Secretary Diana Janse represented the Swedish Government during the visit. Around 20 Swedish businesses also participated in the programme.
The aim of the state visit was to reinforce and deepen the links of friendship between Sweden and Jordan. Issues addressed during the visit included increased industry contacts with a focus on trade, investments and economic cooperation, the participation of women and young people in working life, and the refugee situation in Jordan.
The welcoming ceremony took place at Al-Husseiniya Palace, where The King and Queen were welcomed by The King and Queen of Jordan, together with The Crown Prince.
The state visit to Jordan was three days long, and was carried out in Amman and its surroundings. During their visit to Jordan, The King and Queen visited the Queen Rania Center, opened the Swedish Dialogue Institute, attended an industry seminar, and visited the King Hussein Cancer Center, the World Heritage city of Al-Salt and the Zaatari refugee camp.
After the welcoming ceremony, The King gave a press statement in which he said:
It is promising to see the Swedish presence in Amman expand and the relationship between Sweden and Jordan grow stronger. The Queen and I very much look forward to continuing our visit here in your historical and dynamic country.”
HM The King
The press statement was followed by a bilateral meeting between the two heads of state. Minister Billström also took part in the meeting.
Conferral of orders
In connection with the state visit, HM The King decided to award the following members of the Royal House of Jordan the rank of Knight Commander with the Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Polar Star:
- HRH Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II
- HRH Princess Muna Al Hussein
- HRH Princess Rym Ali
- HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan
- HRH Prince Talal bin Muhammad
- HRH Princess Ghida Talal
- HH Prince Mired bin Ra’ad
- HH Princess Dana Firas bin Ra’ad
Their Majesties The King and Queen of Jordan are already a Knight and a member of the Royal Order of the Seraphim respectively.
HM The King already holds the Order of Al-Hussein bin Ali, with Collar, from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. HM The Queen already holds the Order of Al-Nahda, Grand Cordon.
The Queen Rania Center
During their first day in Amman, The King and Queen visited the Queen Rania Center, which was established in 2005 by the Jordan River Foundation. The centre runs various programmes with a focus on women and young people, aiming to alleviate poverty and promote social justice.
The Jordan River Foundation also works with IKEA to create jobs and good working conditions to help vulnerable women become more resistant to economic and social hardship. A special product series has been developed in partnership between JRF and IKEA, employing more than 420 women.
Lunch was served in one of Amman's oldest districts, hosted by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Meeting with Jordan's Prime Minister
After lunch, The King and Minister for Foreign Affairs Tobias Billström met Jordan's Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh for a meeting about bilateral relations between Sweden and Jordan.
The afternoon's programme concluded with the official opening of the Swedish Dialogue Institute and the newly enlarged Swedish Embassy in Amman.
In the evening, The King and Queen were guests of honour at a state banquet hosted by Jordan's King and Queen at Al-Husseiniya Palace in Amman. During the banquet, The King gave a speech in which he said:
Today, our countries enjoy excellent cooperation in many areas, including in the field of environmental protection and renewable energy. I am convinced that this cooperation will continue to grow in the years to come. And I hope that this state visit can serve as a catalyst for that.”
HM The King
Previous state visits to and from Jordan
See images from The King and Queen's state visit to Jordan in 1989 and King Abdullah II and Queen Rania's visit to Sweden in 2003.
A state visit is the highest form of visit between two countries, and involves two heads of state meeting in a ceremonial form to strengthen relations between the two countries.
State visits aim to lay the foundation for strong personal contact and greater political, trade and cultural exchanges between the countries. Government ministers and an industry delegation also take part in state visits.