Even though people want the Netherlands to open back up and relax the rules imposed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the country "cannot open all at once," said Prime Minister Mark Rutte at a press conference on Wednesday. The rules will be relaxed based on the ability to reduce pressure on the healthcare system, protect elderly people and people in poor health, and attain more insight into the spread of the virus.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will, with a few possible exceptions, not shake anyone's hands during their State visit to Indonesia this week. This is to reduce the chance of catching the coronavirus Covid-19, was reported during the briefing ahead of the state visit on Monday, AD reports.
King Willem-Alexander's state visit to Indonesia from 10 to 13 March will not be canceled over coronavirus concerns for the time being, government information service RVD said. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is examining the situation on a daily basis, but for now assumes the visit will continue as planned, ANP reports.
The same applies to a trade mission led by Minister Sigrid Kaag for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation. The trade mission will happen at the same time as the King's state visit.
The Netherlands returned a presumably stolen ceremonial crown from the 18th century to Ethiopia on Thursday. The crown was secretly kept hidden in an apartment in Rotterdam for over 20 years. Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation made a one-day visit to the African country to return the crown to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
ChristenUnie, the smallest party in the Rutte III coalition, seems to have the future of the CETA trade agreement between the European Union and Canada in its hands. If the party votes for, there is a small majority for the agreement. ChristenUnie voted against CETA in 2016, but now seems to be changing sides, was revealed in the debate on the trade agreement on Wednesday, NU.nl and RTL Nieuws report.
Queen Maxima and Prime Minister Mark Rutte will lead the Dutch delegation at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos this week. The Queen will attend the entire Forum in her capacity as special advocate of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for Inclusive Financing for Development. The Prime Minister will join the meetings later in the week.
The Dutch government understands why the United States assassinated Iranian general Qassem Soleimani in an attack in Baghdad on Friday, but the attack did give rise to a much more complicated situation, Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld said in the first episode of talk show Op1 on Monday night, NU.nl reports.
"If you look at what Iran has done and what Soleimani is, he is of course no saint. That was a real crook", Bijleveld said. According to the Defense Minister, Soleimani as the leader of the Shiite militias can be held responsible for "terrible" things that happened in Syria.
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.
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.
Dutch companies involved in the cultivation of flowers in developing countries agree that there are many abuses in this industry. The working conditions are poor and the excessive use of pesticides and water puts food productions in those countries at risk. Some 600 Dutch companies - from growers to supermarkets - therefore signed a covenant promising improvement, NOS reports.
Prime Minister ark Rutte and the American Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo opened the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in The Hague on Monday afternoon. Some 2 thousand entrepreneurs, investors and representatives of government organizations from 134 countries will meet and make deals at the business summit over the next two days.
In addition to entrepreneurs and others from the business world, a number of prominent people like Queen Maxima and Ivanka Trump will also attend the summit.
King Willem-Alexander and Prime Minister Mark Rutte are attending the Bilderberg Meetings in Montreux, Switzerland this weekend. The Bilderberg Meetings are an informal discussion between important people in Europe and North America. A total of some 130 people will attend, including politicians, directors of multinationals, influential media and large institutions like the United Nations.
The Asian state of Brunei implemented new strict Islamic laws on Wednesday, which allows the death penalty for homosexual intercourse and for women who had an abortion to be publicly flogged. The Netherlands is "deeply concerned" by these "inhumane penalties", Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Aairs said on Twitter.
"A serious breach of international human rights", the Dutch Foreign Minister said. "The Netherlands joins [UN Human Rights Chief] Michelle Bachelet in urging the government of Brunei to halt implementation of the revised Penal Code."
The Netherlands is looking to appoint a special 'startup diplomat' in Silicon valley, whose job it will be to help young Dutch companies do business in the United States, Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation announced during her working visit to America. The vacancy for the new position, which carries a salary of 8,191 dollars, is now open, AD reports.
World leaders and scientists from almost al countries in the world are gathering in Katowice, Poland for an international climate summit. Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Ministers Eric Wiebes of Economic Affairs and Climate, Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen of Infrastructure and Water Management, and State Secretary Stientje van Veldhoven of Infrastructure will represent the Netherlands, the Telegraaf reports.
A Dutch trade mission to Saudi Arabia in December will definitely not happen. Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation will not go to the country because of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday, NU.nl reports.
Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation thinks that stronger rebuttal must be made against populism, she said during the Abel Herzberg lecture on Saturday. While she didn't mention populist parties PVV and FvD by name, she strongly referred to them during her call to better protect democracy, AD reports.
Over the next five years the Dutch government will invest 20 million euros per year into improving education in developing countries, Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation announced at the United Nations in New York. "Education is one of the priorities of my policy. It offers women and young people opportunities for better work and a decent income", she said, NOS reports.
The Dutch government supported Jabhat al-Shamiya, an armed group in Syria that the Public Prosecutor labeled terrorist, according to research by Nieuwsuur and Trouw. A Dutch man is currently being prosecuted for participating in this group. The indictment states that Jabhat al-Shamiya is "salafist and jihadist", "strives for the establishment of a caliphate", and "can't be otherwise qualified" than as a "criminal organization with terrorist intent", Nieuwsuur reports.
Singer Rihanna asked Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Minister Sigrid Kaag of Development Cooperation to donate 100 million dollars to education in developing countries. "I know the Netherlands wanted to pledge to support to global education back in February, so I'd love if you joined me now", she wrote on Twitter.
The singer from Barabods wants the Netherlands to give 100 million dollars to the Global Partnership for Education. She is an ambassador for the organization, according to NOS.
She ends her tweet with 'Dank je!' - Thank you in Dutch.
The Dutch government is committing an extra 10 million euros to making HIV prevention and AIDS inhibitors more accessible to vulnerable groups, such as men who have sex with other men, drug users, trans people, young people and sex workers. In the coming years, the amount will be invested in supporting these vulnerable groups in regions where HIV is still spreading, Minister Sigrid Kaag of Development Cooperation announced at the AIDS 2018 conference in Amsterdam on Monday, RTL Nieuws reports.
The United States implemented import duties on steel and aluminum from the European Union, Mexico and Canada. From 6:00 a.m. on Friday, Dutch time, a rate of 25 percent applies for steel and 10 percent for aluminum from these countries. The Dutch government called the decision unwise and regrettable, NOS and NU.nl report.
Minister Sigrid Kaag of of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation wants detention centers for asylum seekers in Libya to close as soon as possible, she said after paying a visit to such a center in Tripoli. She was horrified by the conditions in which asylum seekers live in these centers, RTL Nieuws reports.
Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation will be leading a meeting of the United Nations Security Council in New York on Thursday. Prime Minister Mark Rutte will lead a meeting on March 28th.
Thursday is also International Women's Day. In this context, the Netherlands called on the 14 members of the Security Council to include as many female colleagues as possible in their delegations today, the Telegraaf reports. The Netherlands is the president of the Security Council, the UN's most important body, for the entire month of March.