Former Defense Minister Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert says that in 2015 she verbally informed then Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs about possible civilian deaths during a bombardment by Dutch F-16s in Iraq, and she may also have told Prime Minister Mark Rutte. She did not mention how many victims there were, only that there may have been civilian casualties, Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense said in a letter to parliament on Monday night, NOS reports.
The Netherlands was well aware of human rights violations committed by Syrian rebel movement Jabhat al-Shamiya when the country started offering them logistical support, Nieuwsuur and Trouw report based on emails sent between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and human rights organization Amnesty International in the summer of 2016. Despite this knowledge, the Dutch government decided to send Jabhat al-Shamiya logistical supplies in 2017.
Halbe Zijlstra is no longer in the running for a job as administrator at the World Bank. The former VVD Minister says that he decided to say no thank you to the job on Monday, the Telegraaf reports.
Zijlstra was a candidate to replace Frank Heemskerk (PvdA) at the bank in Washington. Heemskerk is stepping down this summer.
There are indications that Dutch technology was used in weapons of mass destruction or missile programs of Iran, Pakistan and Syria, departing Ministers Lilianne Ploumen for Foreign Trade, Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs and Klaas Dijkhoff of Defense wrote to the Tweede Kamer, ANP reports.
The Ministry of Defense is recalling anti-tank ammunition and smoke grenades from the UN mission in Mali. Inspections done following a damaging report by the Dutch Safety Board about an accidental mortar grenade explosion that killed two Dutch soldiers, showed that these two types of ammunition were also stored at too high temperatures and may not be safe.
The Netherlands again has an ambassador in Libya. Ambassador Eric Stating arrived in the capital city of Tripoli and is busy setting up an office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced.
The embassy in Tripoli closed in 2014 when the situation in Libya became too dangerous, NOS reports. Since then, the embassy for Libya is based in Tunis. This embassy will remain open in addition to the newly reopened embassy in Tripoli.
The countries participating in the criminal investigation into the MH17 disaster, confirmed their support and cooperation to that investigation and the prosecution of those responsible on paper. The Foreign Affairs Ministers of the five countries in the Joint investigation team - Netherlands, Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine - signed the agreements they made on this front on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.
As the time for the Rutte II cabinet to hand over to a new government approaches, the confidence the Dutch public has in the departing government increases. The VVD and PvdA government hasn't enjoyed as much confidence from the voters since its inauguration in 2012, according to EenVandaag's Budget Day poll. The same goes for Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has mixed feelings about European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker's plans for the European Union, which he revealed in the annual State of the Union address on Wednesday. "I like the short term ideas", Rutte said about the speech. "But there are also issues I like less", AD and the Telegraaf report.
Sint Maarten can count on a financial contribution from the Netherlands to help it recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Tuesday evening, according to Metro Nieuws. He did not mention any amounts.
There is no doubt that the Sint Maarten - an autonomous country that forms part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands - desperately needs help. According to the Red Cross, 91 percent of the homes on the island were damaged or destroyed.
Sint Maarten hopes that the island can recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma within a year or two, deputy minister of the island Henrietta Doran-York said after a national council meeting in The Hague on Tuesday. She also praised the cooperation between the Netherlands and Sint Maarten in the run-up and aftermath of the hurricane, and refuted criticism about a lack of preparation for the hurricane, RTL Nieuws reports.
Hurricane Irma not only caused massive material destruction on Sint Maarten, but also enormously disrupted the population, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a press conference on Friday after the second crisis meeting about the situation on the island that forms part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Minister Bert Koenders is on his way to Tallinn to meet with his French and British counterparts for a discussion on the consequences of devastating Hurricane Irma, the Telegraaf reports. "We are in close contact with the other affected countries. It's time to put our shoulders to the wheel", Koenders said to the newspaper.
The EU Foreign Affairs Ministers are meeting in Tallin, the capital of Estonia, today. Estonia is the current president of the European Union.
The Dutch Ministers involved in providing aid to the islands affected by Hurricane Irma on Wednesday, are meeting in the National Crisis Center in The Hague at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday morning. The main purpose of this meeting is to map what aid exactly the islands of Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius need, Minister Ronald Plasterk of Home Affairs and Kingdom relations said to broadcaster NOS.
Whether the Dutch national football team will be able to qualify for the World Cup in Russia next year, is a question that's on the mind of every sports lover in the Netherlands today, including the government. Almost all Dutch Ministers watched Oranje lose 4-0 against France in the qualifier on Thursday, according to broadcaster NOS.
There is no reason to increase the terrorism threat level in the Netherlands following two terrorist attacks in Spain, National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security Dick Schoof said on Friday. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also sees no reason to adjust the travel advice for Spain, Minister Bert Koenders said to the council of Ministers.
Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs added another nine Dutch to the national terrorism list, bringing the total number of names on the list up to 121. Their assets were frozen and they can no longer access their Dutch bank accounts or credit cards, RTL Nieuws reports.
A number of parliamentarians are calling on Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs to update travel advice for Turkey after a Dutch man was arrested there last week. The Dutch man was arrested for insulting president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on social media. He has since been released, but is still not allowed to leave the country.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima officially opened the National Monument for the victims of flight MH17 during the memorial service on the third anniversary of the disaster on Monday afternoon. The monument is located in Vijfhuizen Park next to Schiphol Airport, where MH17 took off on July 17th, 2014.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is excited to attend the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany on Saturday. He thinks it's good that the Netherlands is participating in this year's summit. "Especially given the international developments, it is important that the Netherlands is there again as a major economy", he said to the press, according to NOS.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is pleased that those responsible for downing flight MH17 will be prosecuted in the Netherlands, calling the decision the "next step on the way to finding the truth." The Dutch government is also signing a treaty with the Ukraine on Friday that will allow for prosecution on behalf of all 298 victims, not only the 196 Dutch, AD reports.
Spoorloos presenter Derk Bolt and cameraman Eugenio Follender were released by Colombian guerrilla movement ELN on Saturday, a week after the Dutch men were abducted. Minister Bert Koenders is "happy and relieved" that the Dutch journalists are now free, he said in a statement to NOS, thanking the Colombian authorities for their efforts in negotiating their release.
Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs condemned the "horrible attack" on at a mosque in London last night in a statement on Twitter. One person was killed and ten others injured when a delivery van crashed into people leaving a mosque in Finsbury Park, NU.nl reports.
"Horrible attack on mosque attendees in London. I empathize with the victims. Offered condolences to colleague Johnson", Koenders said on his Ministry's Twitter feed.
Portugal can count on the Netherlands for help in dealing with the aftermath of massive forest fires that killed 62 people in the country over the weekend, Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs said to his Portuguese counterpart Augusto Santos Silva. Both he and Prime Minister Mark Rutte expressed their condolences and support for the victims and their families, they said on Twitter.