Rutte, 12 Ministers visiting Belgium to discuss climate, war
Prime Minister Mark Rutte and twelve Ministers and State Secretaries will travel to Belgium on Tuesday afternoon for consultations with their Belgian colleagues. A visit from abroad by such a heavy Cabinet delegation is a rarity.
Rutte and the twelve Cabinet members will meet Prime Minister Alexander De Croo and twelve of his government members in the monumental city center of Ghent. De Croo invited them to the FLemish city because of Ghent's important current and historical ties with the Netherlands, said his spokesperson.
The two delegations will discuss, among other things, the Dutch and Belgian farewell to fossil energy and their fight against cross-border crime. But the shadow of the Russian war in Ukraine hangs over the meeting.
The Netherlands only regularly holds such broad government consultations with its other neighbor Germany and France, since this spring. Since 2003, the Netherlands and Belgium have convened for this "Thalassa consultation" three times.
Rutte is taking Foreign Affairs Minister Wopke Hoekstra, Justice Minister Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, and Climate Minister Rob Jetten, among others, to Ghent. They will first meet separately with their Belgian counterparts on Tuesday and then have joint consultations with the two Prime Ministers in the evening.
Reporting by ANP