Dutch PM discuss Ukraine war, NATO summit with Turkish president Erdogan
The war in Ukraine and the upcoming NATO summit are central to Prime Minister Mark Rutte's visit to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday. Relations between the Netherlands and Turkey have been tense for years.
According to Rutte, the personal ties have always remained good. He said on Friday that he considers it essential that more countries within NATO have close contact with the government in Ankara. "Turkey is crucial for the defense of the eastern flank," he said.
In 2017, the relationship between the Netherlands and Turkey became so tense that Ankara expelled the Dutch ambassador. This was because the Netherlands refused to allow Turkish Ministers to campaign here. It led to a Turkish Minister having to leave the Netherlands.
After that, there was some reconciliation, but the relationship never went back to cordial. Last year, Erdogan threatened to expel ten more ambassadors, including the Dutch one, because they called for the release of philanthropist Osman Kavala. He has been incarcerated for years without conviction. On Monday, the court ruled that Kavala must be detained even longer.
Turkey is an important trading partner for the Netherlands. However, the economic conditions in Turkey have not been going well for some time. In recent months, Erdogan has been trying to renew ties with countries with which relations had deteriorated, such as Israel, Greece, and Armenia.
Reporting by ANP