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Royal Hashemite Court (Jordan)

King to Visit Sweden Next Month
Amman, 30 September 2003

Their Majesties King Abdullah II and Queen Rania will start a three-day visit to Sweden on 7th of October, the first of its kind in the history of relations between the two countries, culminated in the opening of the Swedish Embassy in Amman.

Swedish Ambassador in Amman Klas Gierow outlined the program of the King's visit, which covers various aspects of political, economic, cultural and social cooperation with Sweden.

On the political side, His Majesty King Abdullah will deliver a speech before the Swedish Parliament reviewing the situations in the Middle East especially on Palestinian and Iraqi scenes, Gierow said in a statement to Petra.

Sweden is very much interested in listening to the King's viewpoints regarding the situation in the Middle East and its impact on Jordan, he said.

The King will also hold official talks with the Swedish Prime Minister who had visited Jordan when his country presided over the European Union in 2001.

On economic issues, the King will meet a number of Swedish business leaders for talks on investment opportunities in Jordan and the increase of trade exchange between the two countries where the King briefs Swedish investors on the social-economic reform program adopted by the Jordanian government, the Swedish diplomat said King Abdullah will also visit two major Swedish Ericsson for information technology and Astra Senica for pharmaceuticals as well as a space research center where satellites are launched for scientific purposes.

Trade balance between the two countries is largely in favour of Sweden whose exports to Jordan stood 500 million Sweden kronas.

Major Swedish exports are electronics, paper products, pharmaceuticals and vehicals whereas Jordan's exports to Sweden are textiles, leather products and potash.

The two countries' bilateral cooperation program is valued at 6-16 million kronas a year covering water sector, environment, education and industrial development. Over the past five years about 200 Jordanians attended training courses in Sweden organized the Swedish International Development Agency (SEDA).

King Abdullah's visit includes cultural and social activities where the King is expected to visit a unique museum to see wreckage of a war ship drowned in the early time of the 17th century and it is the only item on display. The King will also visit a mosque in Stockholm and members of the Islamic community. Islam is the second religion in Sweden where 11% of the population are immigrants.

Queen Rania will visit a center offering shelter to abused women and an art college specialized in design and art activities.