Crown Princess Mette-Marit is in Kiev for a three day trip on behalf of UNAIDS. The princess, as well as her husband Crown Prince Haakon, is very much involved with the UN charity that helps those with the HIV virus in disadvantaged countries. Mette-Marit was appointed a representative of UNAIDS in 2006.
Since then, she and her husband have visited Malawi, Nicaragua, and Toronto, Canada. Ukraine is Mette-Marit’s first stop on her own to an AIDS affected country.
Ukraine is the European country most devastated by HIV. 450,000 of the country’s 46 million inhabitants are HIV-positive.
The Norwegian crown princess will meet with those with HIV, and visit organizations that help them.
She will be in Ukraine until Wednesday.
King Abdullah and Queen Rania of Jordan are currently spending two days in Spain, where the King will discuss the Middle East process with Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero.
In an interview with Spain’s El Pais newspaper, King Abdullah said for the first time, he is pessimistic about the future of the Middle East.
“The success of the peace process will depend on whether there are successful advances between Israelis and Palestinians when the next US administration takes over.”
“If we manage nothing by the end of the year, given the uncertainty between Israel and Palestine, there will be no future for the peace process,” the monarch said, underlining that this prospect “scared everybody”.
“Israel must decide if it wants to be a fortress or involve itself in the Muslim and Arab world.”
While Abdullah met with Zapatero, his wife Queen Rania visited the Casa Arabe (Arab House) in downtown Madrid. There, she viewed the exhibition “Ciudad del espejismo. Bagdad, de Wright a Venturi” – which of course is about Baghdad, Iraq.
This stop in Spain is the first of four official visits for the King and Queen. Next, they will move on the Latin America, and visit Brazil, Argentina and Chile. It is expected the Middle East peace talks will continue there, as well as bilateral talks between Jordan and those countries.