NATIONAL NEWS

Jill Biden to promote women, youth on trip to Mideast, North Africa, Europe

May 26, 2023, 8:10 AM

FILE - First lady Jill Biden waits with President Joe Biden to greet South Korea's first lady Kim K...

FILE - First lady Jill Biden waits with President Joe Biden to greet South Korea's first lady Kim Keon Hee and South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol on the North Portico of the White House in Washington ahead of a State Dinner, April 26, 2023. Jill Biden will promote women and youth empowerment, and attend a Jordanian royal wedding, during an upcoming trip to the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. The first lady's office says she'll depart on a six-day trip that will take her to Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Portugal. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jill Biden will promote empowerment for women and young people — and attend a Jordanian royal wedding — during an upcoming trip to the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

The first lady was scheduled to depart Wednesday on a six-day trip that will take her to Jordan, Egypt, Morocco and Portugal. Her office shared some details first with The Associated Press.

It will be Biden’s first Middle East visit as first lady. She traveled to Kenya in February.

“The first lady believes that supporting youth across the world is critical to our common future, with education, health, and empowerment at the heart of it,” said Vanessa Valdivia, her spokesperson.

“With her visit to the Middle East and North Africa, the first lady will continue to build on her work to empower young people, and reaffirm our commitment to strengthen our partnerships and advance our shared priorities in the region,” Valdivia said in an email.

In Amman, the capital of Jordan, Biden will attend the June 1 wedding of Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah II, heir to the throne, and Rajwa Khaled Al-Saif, an architect.

President Joe Biden and the first lady have a deep and longstanding friendship with the prince’s parents, King Abdullah II and Queen Rania.

When Joe Biden was vice president, he and King Abdullah often met over breakfast when the king traveled to Washington to visit his son, then a student at Georgetown University. Abdullah also visited Biden at his home in Delaware after Biden returned to private life.

The two have met at least three times since Biden became president, twice at the White House and once in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

In Egypt and Morocco, Jill Biden will connect with women and young people while focusing on U.S. investments that help support education programs and efforts to increase economic opportunity.

In Portugal, the first lady will help the U.S. State Department celebrate the 60th anniversary of its Art in Embassies program, highlighting the role the arts can play in diplomacy.

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Jill Biden to promote women, youth on trip to Mideast, North Africa, Europe