ministry of foreign affairs

Bert_Koenders_2015_(1)
May 31 '17 16:55

Both Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders spoke out against a massive bombing in the Afghan capital of Kabul this morning that left at least 80 people dead and an estimated 364 people wounded. The attack was committed with a tanker during morning rush hour, in an area that houses many embassies and ministries, AD reports. 

"Terrible attack in Kabul. A number of international partners also hit hard. Our thoughts go out to all the victims", Rutte said on Twitter.

Yvonne Snijter
May 31 '17 08:30

Dutch woman Yvonne Snijter is missing in Libya, according to numerous reports and calls for help from friends on social media. She was last seen on Friday in a cafe in the old part of the capital city of Tripoli. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is investigating, AD reports. 

According to Snijter's last tweet, on May 26th, she was heading out to get something to eat a few hours before Ramadan started. After that her usually active Twitter account falls silent. 

The NATO flag
May 25 '17 08:06

NATO is joining the coalition fighting against terrorist organization ISIS in Syria and Iraq, the 28 NATO member states decided on Wednesday. The Netherlands will contribute two planes to the fight against Islamic State this year, Ministers Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs and Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert announced.

Bert Koenders
May 24 '17 09:16

The Dutch diplomatic network is in a "worrying state" and "urgently" needs to be strenghtened to avoid a diplomatic crisis, the advice council for international issues AIV said in a report on Wednesday. The new government will have to invest an extra 70 to 80 million euros annually into the Foreign Affairs Ministry, the report states according to ANP.

Mark_Rutte-6
May 23 '17 08:18

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and counterterrorism coordinator Dick Schoof both called an apparent attack in Manchester on Monday "terrible". At least 22 people were killed and over 50 were wounded in an explosion shortly after an Ariana Grande concert in the Manchester Arena. The English authorities are "treating it as a terrorist attack until we know something else", the police said, RTL Nieuws reports.

The victims include children. The police currently believe it was a suicide bombing. 

Thousands of Venezuelans take to the street, demanding that their govt step down and end the crisis, Apr 2017
May 19 '17 07:51

The Dutch government is preparing a possible evacuation for the few hundred Dutch in Venezuela. The South-American country is in the midst of a massive crisis and there is hardly any food or medicine available. Angry Venezuelans have been demonstrating against the government for weeks, during which 42 people have been killed and hundreds others injured, RTL Nieuws reports.

Emmanuel Macron, elected French president on 7 May 2017
May 8 '17 08:36

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders expressed their congratulations to new French president Emmanuel Macron and congratulated the French population for choosing pro-Europe and anti-xenophobia. PVV leader Geert Wilders congratulated runner up nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen on getting the votes of "millions of patriots".

Hackers or Keyboard users
Apr 25 '17 07:34

Russia denies hacking into other countries' IT systems. On Monday the Dutch military intelligence agency reported that Russia tried to hack into the computers of Dutch weapons manufacturers. But according to the Kremlin, this is not true, RTL Nieuws reports.

Vladimir Putin
Apr 24 '17 15:15

Russia's efforts to destabilize the Netherlands, Europe and NATO are so serious that military intelligence agency MIVD considers it the second largest security risk to the Netherlands and the Western world in general. Terrorism stands in first place, MIVD General Major Onno Eichelsheim said at the presentation of the agency's annual report on Monday, NU.nl reports.

Mark Rutte
Apr 21 '17 15:20

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte condemned the "awful acts of terrorism" that left one police officer dead and two injured in a shooting in Paris on Thursday evening.

"Awful act of terrorism last night in Paris. Our thoughts are with the victims. I expressed our sympathies to President Francois Hollande", Rutte wrote on Twitter. 

Turkey flag
Apr 18 '17 10:08

Not a single country in the European Union, including the Netherlands, congratulated Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his projected win in a referendum in Turkey on Sunday. The projected results show that 51.4 percent of Turks voted 'yes' on a referendum that gives Erdogan more power, including the possibility of ruling Turkey until 2029. But instead of congratulations, a number of EU countries responded with criticism and admonitions, the Volkskrant reports. 

Pechtold
Apr 12 '17 09:39

Negotiators for the VVD, CDA, D66 and GroenLinks talked about security, the judiciary and income disparities on Tuesday during the negotiations on forming a new Dutch government. On Wednesday they will continue to discuss security. Experts in the field of security and defense were invited to the morning negotiation session, Het Parool reports. 

"We talked about security. That is an important issue. We need to develop new ideas", D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said after Tuesday's negotiations. VVD negotiator Halbe Zijlstra added that income disparities were also on the table.

Protestors outside Turkey's consulate in Rotterdam
Apr 10 '17 15:15

There were indications that the Turkish Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya's security guards were carrying weapons during disturbances at the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam last month, the Dutch government wrote to parliament on Monday. The police therefore considered the guards "armed and dangerous". No weapons were found after they were arrested, AD reports.

Turkey flag
Apr 7 '17 14:30

At least ten, but maybe as many as 100, Turkish-Dutch are currently stuck in Turkey. They are not allowed to leave the country because they are critical about the Erdogan government, NOS reports based on its own sources. The Turkish government is furious about these reports. There are Dutch-Turks who are not allowed to leave the country, but that is because they have ties to the "terrorist" Gulen movement, the Turkish embassy said to the broadcaster.

Lodewijk_Asscher_2015_(1)
Apr 7 '17 12:10

The Dutch government "understands" the United States' cruise missile attack on a Syrian air base in retaliation to a poison gas attack in Syria earlier this week, Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher and Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders all said before the cabinet meeting on Friday, NU.nl reports. 

1280px-Jason's_camera_127
Apr 5 '17 14:35

The Netherlands is contributing an extra 2 million euros for clearing land mines in areas in Syria that have been recaptured from terrorist organization Islamic State, Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs announced in London on Tuesday. Every year the Netherlands contributes about 20 million euros for demining in a number of war-torn countries, including Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Somalia and South-Sudan. 

Bert Koenders
Mar 31 '17 14:15

Departing Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders called on the European Union to pay better attention to which arms supplies they support. According to him, plenty of money is raised to combat famine in Yemen, but Britain and France for example still provide weapons to Saudi Arabia, which is playing an important role in the civil war raging in Yemen, he said to BNR.

"I think that is a very bad thing", Koenders said to BNR. "We have a European arms export policy. Then you should also look at human rights issues and international humanitarian law, at the stability in a region."

1024px-The_Union_Flag_on_Victoria_Tower
Mar 23 '17 07:59

A group of school pupils from Bergen op Zoom witnessed a terrorist attack in London on Wednesday afternoon. Five people were killed and around 40 injured when a man crashed his car into pedestrians on Westminster Bridge, crashed into the Westminster Palace gate, got out and stabbed a police officer, the Telegraaf reports.

BnhqUcOIUAArS8d (1)
Mar 17 '17 14:50

The ongoing political spat between the Netherlands and Turkey resulted in hundreds of Dutch travelers rebooking their vacations to another destination, Arjan Kers, CEO of travel agency TUI Nederland, said to BNR.

"There are now several hundred, most of which found an alternate in Greece or Spain", Kers said, but added that "because a few hundred thousand Dutch annually go to Turkey on holiday, these numbers are not too bad."

Erdogan20120326
Mar 14 '17 07:44

Turkey is turning to the European Court of Human Rights in its political battle with the Netherlands, president Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Monday. He also announced a number of sanctions against the Netherlands, including that Dutch diplomats are no longer welcome in Turkey, NU.nl reports.

Lodewijk_Asscher_2015_(1)
Mar 13 '17 11:25

Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher called on Turkey to retract its accusations of Nazism and fascism against the Netherlands. If the country does not do so, the relationship between the Netherlands and Turkey will remain difficult, Asscher said, according to RTL Nieuws. 

Asscher added that the Dutch government will not take any measures against the Ankara government, even if they refuse to retract the statements. According to him, it is important that calm returns. But "a different form of communication must come from Turkey", he said.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Mar 13 '17 10:50

The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs updated its travel advice for Turkey, due to current political tensions between the two countries. The Dutch government does not advise against going to Turkey, but does warn Dutch travelers to watch out for gatherings and avoid public places, ANP reports.

These warnings are on top of the already in place advice of risks in Turkey due to terrorist attacks and political tensions. 

Mar 10 '17 12:00

The Netherlands is taking legal steps in an effort to gain clarity about the cause of a fatal bus accident in Switzerland in 2012. The intention is to get a blood sample of the bus driver, who died in the crash, from the Swiss authorities, ANP reports

The accident happened in a tunnel in Sierre in March 2012. A total of 28 people were killed, including seven Dutch children. Many of the victims' relatives believe that the bus driver deliberately crashed the bus into the tunnel wall because medicine he was taking made him suicidal, according to the news wire.

Avalanche
Mar 8 '17 11:10

A 22-year-old Dutch snowboarder died in the French Alps after being buried under an avalanche on Tuesday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed. Two others, age 21 and 25 years, are still missing. Their families were informed, AD reports.

Rescue workers resumed the search for the missing snowboarders at 7:30 a.m.

French media report that the three were snowboarding in the region of Le Seuil, about 60 kilometers east of Grenoble. This is a particularly dangerous area known for avalanches. It is unclear what they were doing outside the safe zones. 

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