Obama in The Hague
Obama has arrived in The Hague as the first day of the Nuclear Security Summit is underway.
It has already been a busy morning in the city, as 50 demonstrators were apprehended at the Centraal Station and several more demonstrators were swimming in the Hofvijver.
The Royal Military Police kept the order as Obama's limo, 'The Beast' drove him from the Museumplein to the Rijksmuseum, which is less than 100 meters distance.
Minister Frans Timmermans welcomed Obama at schiphol, and tweeted that the first words the American president said were "good morning, sir. I love your country."
As part of a special welcoming committee, Frank Bisshops and his colleague, Dion Veldema, served as ceremonial guards. They brought the president a special greeting, as this is Obama's first state visit to the Netherlands.
Usually, Military Police perform the ceremony, with sabers, but American authorities requested this not happen for security reasons.
Security measures caused for a lot of speculation, as a wall of containers appeared on the Museumplein for Obama's visit to the Rijksmuseum. The containers were in place to prevent gunmen from taking any chances, was the speculation.
— Urban Capture (@urbancapture) March 23, 2014
But security staff said the containers were there because of landing helicopters, which change the air pressure. So in order to protect paintings in the museums, dozens of containers were placed strategically around the Museumplein.
Special measures were also in place just in case the helicopter carrying Obama, the Marine One, would catch fire. A crashtender, or a giant fire extinguisher weighing 43 tonnes, the biggest fire department vehicle in the Netherlands, was brought to Amsterdam just in case.
The Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague is drawing more than 50 world-leaders to the city. It is also drawing several protest groups. The National Platform Against Nuclear Power protested in Amsterdam on Monday morning. In The Hague, four protesters jumped into the Hofvijver, while 50 other protesters were apprehended at Den Haag Centraal Station.
— Jeroen Wetzels (@jeroenwetzels) March 24, 2014