Security for Nuclear Top will affect daily routines

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The city council of The Hague has advised residents of the city to use their bicycles and public transport (OV) on March 24 and 25 when the city will be hosting the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS).

At a press conference earlier today authorities announced that the security measures for the largest international top conference ever hosted in the Netherlands, traffic is bound to become clogged. Nuisance will be minimized as much as possible, but nonetheless motorists in The Hague, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Wassenaar, Leiden, Katwijk, Noordwijk, de Bollenstreek and Haarlemmermeer may expect some hinder. “We advise that you do not travel to this part of the Randstad is you do not need to,” the Marechaussee said on its Facebook page. The security force is among the armed units that will be out in full force during the top that will bring more than 50 world leaders, 5,000 delegates and 3,000 journalists to The Hague in March. The delegates are expected to adopt agreements concerning safeguarding nuclear material, to keep it out of terrorists’ hands. The summit will be hosted at World Forum in The Hague. The aim of the summit is to reduce the amount of nuclear material in the world and improve its security. Fifty-three countries and four international organizations are taking part in the negotiations. Police announced that it is launching the country’s largest security operation ever to secure a peaceful conference. A special national traffic central has been established to work with Rijkswaterstraat, to anticipate the effects the security measures will have on traffic. Police will be visibly present on the roads to escort delegates through traffic and to secure the areas in the cities where the delegates will be staying. “Aside from that we will also be taking invisible security measures,” police stated. On the summit days there will be extra police presence in The Hague and other cities. “For a comparison: for the NSS there will be four times as many police people deployed as there were for the succession on April 30th last year,” police stated. The Marechaussee is deploying 4,000 people on both days, including its support troops that –if need be- can lend a hand against armed threats. National Coordinator Terrorism and Security Dick Schoof announced that the Marechaussee may also carry out border controls at the Belgium and Germany borders. The security measures that will be taken for the summit will also affect air and sea traffic. Recreational flights will not be allowed in the Randstad area. At Schiphol aircraft the delegates will be arriving in will be parked at the Polderbaan runway; preparations for this will be underway as of March 10. The North Sea will be cleared as much as possible. Navy and police ships will be patrolling heavily and all ships within territorial waters will be required to give their names, freight and owner. Along certain locations on the coast reinforced areal defense systems will be installed. Certain hotels in the summit area will only have limited access during the summit days. “Hosting 58 world leaders brings risks, which is why we are constantly on the alert for threats. We are taking the necessary measures, many of which will not be visible,” said deputy police chief Ruud Bik. “We are well prepared and there is good cooperation with our partners, which puts me at ease about us experiencing a respectable, safe and undisturbed NSS.” Prime Minister Mark Rutte a few weeks ago highlighted the summit’s importance at a press conference: ‘The amount of nuclear material in the world is enormous. If it falls into the hands of terrorists, the consequences could be disastrous. The international community must do everything in its power to prevent this. As chair of the Nuclear Security Summit, I am determined to make it a success. In this way, the Netherlands will contribute to a safer world.’ It’s a huge project,’ said mayor Josias van Aartsen of The Hague. ‘An unbelievable number of organizations are involved, from ministries and the police to private parties such as Schiphol airport and the public transport company HTM. The aim is to ensure that the summit proceeds smoothly, safely and in a dignified manner. The preparations are in full swing at the relevant ministries and agencies and at city hall.’ The NSS is an initiative of US President Obama. The first summit was held in Washington in 2010, and the second in Seoul in 2012. At President Obama’s request, the Netherlands is organizing the second-to-last summit in 2014. Prime Minister Rutte will chair the summit, and Foreign Affairs Minister Frans Timmermans is responsible for substantive and organizational preparations  

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