State visit to Jordan

King Harald and Queen SonjaKing Harald and Queen Sonja. Photo NTB scanpix Åserud, Lise

King Harald and Queen Sonja have accepted the invitation from King Abdullah II to pay a state visit to Jordan in 2020. The visit is planned for 2-4 March.

The visit marks 20 years since the state visit of the Jordanian King and Queen to Norway in 2000, and it is King Harald’s first state visit to the Middle East. King Harald and Queen Sonja will be accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ms Ine Eriksen Søreide, and the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Iselin Nybø.

The state visit will begin in the capital Amman, where the official welcoming ceremony and meeting with Their Majesties King Abdullah and Queen Rania will take place.

The visit provides an opportunity to explore new prospects for business cooperation between Norwegian and Jordanian partners. A carefully chosen business delegation from Norway will explore opportunities for cooperation and capacity-building in various areas, including renewable energy, water technology, tourism, and cancer treatment. A hackathon will be held under Innovation Norway’s Humanitarian Innovation Programme, which will bring together young entrepreneurs, refugees, private sector representatives and technology experts with the aim of finding innovative solutions in the energy sector.

In addition, there will be seminars on women’s entrepreneurship, and the Digital Public Goods Alliance will be launched. Music Norway and Oslo World Music Festival will organise a roundtable on how to strengthen the position of women in the music industry. The Minister of Trade and Industry will host a reception showcasing Norwegian seafood.

The King and Queen will visit a girls’ school in the city of Salt, where a football pitch has been built in the schoolyard, in partnership with the Norwegian Football Federation. The project aims to give Syrian refugee children an active everyday life and contribute to their integration into Jordanian communities that have a high number of refugees. Furthermore, the King and Queen will visit the Evangelical Lutheran Church, decorated by painter Håkon Gullvåg, and the Baptism Site on the banks of the Jordan River, to mark Norwegian-Jordanian cooperation on promoting interreligious understanding.

Discussions during the state visit will also address the regional political challenges the country faces, and what Norway and Jordan can do together to strengthen political dialogue in the Middle East. The King and Queen will attend a seminar organised by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (Prio) and the Jordanian research institute Center for Strategic Studies, focusing on how to preserve the space for political dialogue. The King and Queen will also host a return event by the Dead Sea, which will include Norwegian and Jordanian cultural performances.

The King and Queen will conclude the state visit with a visit to the ancient city of Petra, to highlight the importance of cultural heritage. Petra is a Unesco World Heritage Site and is Jordan’s most visited tourist attraction.

Source: / Norway Today


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