Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News
Tuesday, First Lady Jill Biden departed for her journey to the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe with promises of fostering greater cooperation between the United States and key nations in the region while also advocating for the rights of women and girls.
“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,” The Associated Press quoted Vanessa Valdivia, Biden’s spokesperson, as saying. “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.”
Biden will make her first visit to the Middle East as a First Lady, where she will attend a royal wedding in Jordan.
“I look forward to traveling to Amman, Jordan to join King Abdullah and Queen Rania in celebrating their son, Crown Prince Al Hussein’s wedding to Ms. Rajwa Al Seif,” Biden tweeted Tuesday night.
The remainder of her six-day trip will involve stops in Egypt, Morocco, and Portugal.
“I’m on my way to the Middle East and North Africa to build on our longstanding partnerships and meet with young people across the region to discuss how the next generation can thrive,” Biden tweeted. “Government to government, people to people, and heart to heart, we will continue to strengthen our relationships in the region and reaffirm our commitment to the future of young people around the world.”
I’m on my way to the Middle East and North Africa to build on our longstanding partnerships and meet with young people across the region to discuss how the next generation can thrive.
— Jill Biden (@FLOTUS) May 31, 2023
Biden will meet with women and youth while in Egypt and Morocco, and will advocate for U.S. support of education and economic initiatives in both nations.
The Portugal leg of Biden’s journey will be a joint effort with the State Department to celebrate the Art in Embassies program, a Museum of Modern Art-conceived global art initiative that is meant to foster diplomatic goodwill through visual arts projects and artist exchanges.
Before leaving for her journey, Biden joined her husband, President Joe Biden, to commemorate the eight-year anniversary of the passing of her son, Beau Biden, who succumbed to cancer in 2015.
The Bidens attended a church service at St. Joseph on the Brandywine Church in Wilmington, Delaware, then visited their son’s gravesite.
“Tomorrow marks eight years since we lost our son Beau,” President Biden said during his Memorial Day address.
Our loss is not the same – he didn’t perish in the battlefield, it was cancer that stole him … As it is for so many of you, the pain of his loss is with us every day, but particularly sharp on Memorial Day.
Beau Biden, who had served as attorney general of Delaware, was also a veteran who had deployed to Iraq.