The relationship between the Netherlands and Morocco must improve, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said on Friday, after the Moroccan ambassador to the Netherlands canceled a meeting with State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol of Justice and Security at the last minute on Thursday. The canceled meeting emphasizes the importance of improving the two countries' relationship, Blok said, De Gelderlander reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte is attending a two-day NATO summit in London on Tuesday and Wednesday. The conference is already off to a rocky start, with American president Donald Trump clashing with French president Emmanuel Macron, and a number of sensitive topics still on the agenda.
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.
State Secretary Ankie Broekers-Knol of Justice and Security is struggling to talk to Morocco about taking back Moroccan nationals whose asylum application in the Netherlands had failed. She wanted to visit the country to discuss this matter, but the Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed her that she "would not speak to the right people", she said to parliament on Thursday, NOS reports.
Multiple Dutch universities are calling their exchange students back from Hong Kong, due to the increasing tensions in the city. The Dutch educational institutions decided to make an active effort to facilitate their exchange students' return to the Netherlands, as a precaution, NU.nl reports.
The University of Amsterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Utrecht University, Leiden University, and TU Delft all confirmed to the newspaper that they are facilitating the return of their students. Radboud University Nijmegen said the same to the Telegraaf.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs called his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavusoglu on Monday to make clear that the Dutch government condemns Turkey's invasion of northeastern Syria, he said in a letter to parliament, NOS reports.
Blok asked Minister Çavusoglu to stop Turkish operations in the area and called his attention "to the need to monitor camps" where ISIS jihadists are detained. He also asked Çavusoglu to address the humanitarian need in the area.
The trial against four men suspected of involvement in the downing of flight MH17 will take over a year. The court in he Hague set different periods aside for the court case, starting on 9 March 2019 and ending on 26 March 2021. All in all, the court reserved 25 weeks in the high-security Schiphol Judicial Complex for the MH17 trial.
A vast majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, support sanctions against Turkey following a Turkish invasion in northeastern Syria. The Dutch government is looking into a "wide range of measures" against Turkey, Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Trade, standing in for Foreign Affairs Minister Stef Blok who is abroad, said in a parliamentary debate on the matter on Thursday, NOS reports.
A 43-year-old man from Amsterdam who was arrested for recording videos with a drone at his hotel in Cairo, has been released, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed. Pieter Bas Habes has been ordered to leave Egypt as quickly as possible, and the Dutch embassy will help him in this. He is doing well, though he needs some time to rest, the Ministry said, NOS reports.
"It is going well and we are very happy", Habes' lawyer said to NOS. The Amsterdam man is expected back in the Netherlands soon. Then more information about his release will be available, the lawyer said.
The Dutch checkers team was held captive in a hotel on the Ivory Coast, where they were participating in the checkers World Championship, for hours on Thursday. The bill for the hotel was not paid and as a result, the hotel would not let any of its guests leave, Dutch checkers association KNDB said on Facebook.
The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, wants a further investigation into the role Ukraine played in the MH17 disaster, focused specifically on the country not closing the airspace above eastern Ukraine despite fighting in the area. A motion filed by CDA and SP to that extent received the support of all parties that attended a debate on the matter on Tuesday evening, NOS reports.
Pieter Bas Habes, a 43-year-old man from Amsterdam, disappeared after apparently being arrested in Egypt over a week ago. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is doing its "utmost" to find out where he is, the Volkskrant reports.
Coalition parties CDA and D66 are flabbergasted by the fact that the government's China Strategy does not mention anything about the poor human rights situation in China. Opposition parties are also critical. The Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, will debate the strategy, in which the government explained its policy towards China, with Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs on Monday, NOS reports.
The Netherlands and Iraq are looking into whether jihadists who fought for terrorist organizations like ISIS can be tried in the Middle Eastern country. Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs is advocating for a separate international tribunal to try foreign rebel fighters in the Syrian civil war, NRC reports.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs will be the 'designated survivor' this Budget Day. He will not be in the Netherlands next week Thursday and will not attend the King's Budget Day speech in the Ridderzaal, NOS reports.
Minister Sigrid Kaag for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation regrets that four of her guests were not welcome at a meeting she had with the center for information and documentation on Israel CIDI in The Hague on Sunday, she said to NOS.
Robert Mugabe, the former president of Zimbabwe, died at age 95 on Friday, the current president Emmerson Mnangagwa confirmed on Twitter. Dutch Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs remembers Mugabe with "very mixed feelings", he said in a response. Mugabe played a major role in the independence of Zimbabwe, Blok said. But then he was also responsible for a "very questionable human rights regime", Dagblad van het Noorden reports.
Continuing uncertainty about the United Kingdom's position in the European Union after the Brexit so far prompted 98 companies to move to the Netherlands. Another 325 companies are still considering a Dutch office, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs' foreign investment agency NFIA announced on Monday.
The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs adjusted its travel advice for India due to increasing tensions in the country. The government advises Dutch not to travel to Kashmir, and to only visit the cities of Srinagar and Jammu if absolutely necessary.
An 11-year-old Dutch girl was brought to the Netherlands from Syria on Friday, the Dutch Red Cross, which played an important role in the child's recovery, confirmed to NU.nl after reports in NOS.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte will meet with United States president Donald Trump in the White House for the second time this evening. During the meeting, Rotterdam collector Bert Kreuk will hand Trump a D-Day flag he is donating to the United States. The main topic on the agenda for Rutte and Trump is trade, though Trump will likely also bring up the U.S. request to allies for a military contribution in Syria and to increase pressure on Iran, NOS reports.
Prime Minister Mark Rutte has a meeting with United States president Donald Trump next week Thursday, July 18th, a White House spokesperson confirmed in a statement. During that visit, Rutte and art collector Bert Kreuk will hand over an the first American flag planted in Normandy on D-Day, which the collector decided to donate to the US, NU.nl reports.
The Netherlands, in collaboration with UNESCO, is organizing an international conference on the freedom of the press in May next year, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said in BBC program Newsnight. Blok is concerned about harassment and violence against journalists around the world.
Myrna Reinhard, a 24-year-old medical student from Nijmegen, died in a bizarre accident while vacationing in Vietnam this week. The young woman was electrocuted while taking a shower in the hostel where she was staying in the popular coastal town of Hoi An, AD reports.