Friday, October 17, 2014 - 14:33
King swears in new Foreign Minister
This morning the 56 year old Bert Koenders was sworn in as Minister of Foreign affairs by King Willem-Alexander.
Koenders' predecessor, Frans Timmermans, who is leaving for the European Commission, has been "discharged in the most honorable manner, in gratitude for the many and important services to the King and the Kingdom demonstrated by the the Minister." That is the usual formulation for government ministers who resign. Earlier today Koenders had the conversation with the Prime Minister that all candidate-ministers have. Koender says that the Netherlands and the world have changed in recent times. "We know that many Dutch people have concerns about the conflicts at the edge of Europe, about extremism and human rights, and I share those concerns," he said. He does not feel like a war minister now that the Netherlands is fighting against terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq. But he is well aware that the country is active in a conflict zone and knows that it is a "great responsibility". Koenders praised Timmermans as a minister who very skillfully represented the Netherlands. In his own words, Koenders is not facing an easy job, but he sees many possibilities and opportunities for the Netherlands and he will work towards them with gusto. The new minister already has a number of meetings scheduled for next week, including with the Secretary General of NATO and the Minsters of Foreign Affairs of France and Germany.
Koning Willem-Alexander beëdigt op Paleis Noordeinde drs. A.G. Koenders als minister van Buitenlandse Zaken. pic.twitter.com/bVAMw9vrEb— Koninklijk Huis (@koninklijkhuis) October 17, 2014