Dutch PM looking forward to Biden’s inauguration; Denounces D.C. riot
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the Netherlands can build a stronger relationship with the United States after President-Elect Joe Biden is inaugurated there on January 20. “We are all looking forward to the inauguration of the new President," Rutte said at his press conference after the Cabinet meeting on Friday.
“The Netherlands and the United States are close allies. Certainly with the departure of the United Kingdom from the EU, a special role awaits us as perhaps the EU’s most transatlantic country,” Rutte said.
Trump himself said he will not attend Biden’s inauguration. The 45th President of the United States spoke to a rally of Trump loyalists on Wednesday, riling them up with unfounded claims that the election was stolen, that he was the rightful victor, and saying stating “we will not concede.”
His supporters then clashed with police and stormed the U.S. Capitol building during a joint session of Congress to certify Biden’s victory. Five people died in the chaos including a police officer, a Trump supporter who was fatally shot, and three other Trump supporters from other medical issues. Dozens were arrested in the aftermath, which caused both the Senate and House of Representatives to suspend their proceedings for hours.
Trump conceded his election loss less than 24 hours later.
“It is extremely important that parliamentarians can always do their work safely and independently. This should not have happened,” Rutte said.
"Fortunately, the democratic process in the United States has proven to be unstoppable, and both the result and thus Joe Biden's victory were confirmed,” he continued.
“We are looking forward to the inauguration.”
The D.C. rioting led Rutte to reminisce about the relationship between President Ronald Reagan, a Republican, and former Speaker of the House Tip O’Neill, a Democrat. The two notoriously battled on political issues, but were much friendlier outside of work, an era Rutte referred to as “a completely different America.”
He said that in the Netherlands it was equally important for political leaders to listen and pay attention to what supporters of other parties have to say, and to also respectfully respond to dissent within their own ranks. “With us, the PVV also arose from dissatisfaction within the VVD,” he pointed out.