9 OCTOBER 2003
King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan of Jordan received a warm welcome during their three-day visit to Sweden. Met at the airport by Prince Carl Philip and Crown Princess Victoria, they were then whisked off to the Royal Palace in Stockholm, where King Carl Gustaf and Queen Sylvia had laid on a lavish reception.

The following day Rania, accompanied by the Swedish queen, paid a visit to the Swedish Crisis Centre for Women. The facility provides refuge and assistance to women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

Rania, who is an active campaigner for children's rights, established a similar resource for disadvantaged youngsters in Amman in August 2000.

During their stay King Abdullah addressed the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. Reaffirming his country's commitment to the path of development and peace, the monarch called on all countries to act with humanity.

"We have spoken out boldly in the name of tolerance and justice," he told an audience of 200 politicians and journalists. "We have taken risks for peace in our region and around the world. And we have embarked on an extensive programme of economic, political and social reform."

The trip was not entirely taken up with affairs of state, however. Before departing Sweden the couple's young daughter Princess Salma got to make a new friend when she and her mum visited a herd of reindeer in Jukkasjaervi, a village 200 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle.

The Jordanian Queen was accompanied by Sylvia on a visit to the Swedish Women's Crisis Centre
Photo: AFP
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Rania introduces her daughter Princess Salma to a reindeer during a trip to the northern village of Jukkasjaervi, 200 kilometres north of the Artic Circle
Photo: AFP

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