Withdrawal from Climate agreement a "turning point" in U.S.-Netherlands relationship: Dutch FM

Bert Koenders (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)Bert Koenders (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)

Donald Trump's decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement is a "turning point" in the relationship between America and the Netherlands, Dutch Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs said in a speech at Harvard University, ANP reports. "On the one hand, cooperation is needed more than ever, but it is also time for Europe to take its own responsibility", Koenders said. 

Koenders gave a talk about the Marshall Plan - the U.S. support program for European countries affected by World War II. It played an important part in the reconstruction of the Netherlands. According to the Dutch minister, the Marshall Plan helped forge the strong transatlantic bond that existed over the past 70 years. But he added that these kinds of successes can "be undone by only a handful of men - mostly men. In incredibly little time, against all expectations."

About Trump's choice to step out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Koenders said that it is "our duty to let our American friends know when they've crossed a line". Nevertheless, he believes that cooperation with the United States is still possible in the Trump "America first" era. "The Marshall Plan dit not originate only from American generosity. Back then America also acted out of own interest."