Dutch king praises bond with France after Paris attacks

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King Willem-Alexander praised and reconfirmed "our bond" with France after the "deep wounds" caused by the terrorist attacks in Paris last year during his dinner speech at the state banquet with President Francois Hollande in the Elysee on Thursday night, ANP reports.

"Let's make it clear again today that we believe in the values of liberty, equality and brotherhood. Let us be proud of our European culture in all its diversity, and our way of life", the Dutch King said, adding that that pride "does not absolve us from the obligation to take an honest look at ourselves."

The King also talked about the refugee crisis and the large number of asylum seekers entering Europe. "Only together can we meet the challenge" he said, adding that the focus should not be on Europe alone, but also beyond its borders. "Our security is intertwined with the safety of people in the regions around us."

In his speech President Hollande also emphasized the close cooperation between France and the Netherlands - which is now also expressed by the two Rembrandt portraits collectively purchased by the two countries. They are currently on display in the Louvre and will be in the Rijksmuseum in early July. "A unique pair", Hollande said.

King Willem-Alexander is currently on a two day state visit to France.

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