Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs is visiting Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates this week to discuss the tensions in the Gulf region, stressing the importance of deescalation and free passage in the Gulf. He will also visit Dutch frigate Zr.MS.
Nine of the ten largest Dutch pension funds invest in arms manufacturers who supply systems to countries that violate human rights, such as Saudi Arabia. In total these pension funds invest over a billion euros in 14 of these types of arms companies, NRC reports based on the Fair Pension Guide study by peace organization PAX.
SP parliamentarian Sadet Karabulut wants the Netherlands to boycott the G20 summit in Saudi Arabia next year. The Saudi regime is too controversial, Karabulut said, referring to the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, among other things. The D66 thinks the Netherlands should go and address these issues, RTL Nieuws reports.
Queen Maxima is facing criticism over a meeting she had with Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 summit in Osaka on Friday. The controversial crown prince of Saudi Arabia is accused of orchestrating the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October last year. Multiple Dutch parliamentarians criticized the meeting. UN rapporteur Agnes Callamard, who investigated the journalist's murder, called it "extraordinarily disappointing" that the Dutch Queen did not broach this topic. Prime Minister Mark Rutte is baffled by the commotion.
The umbrella organization for Dutch shipping companies KVNR will be meeting with the Ministry of Defense on Monday to discuss increased tensions on the Persian Gulf. Recent attacks on oil tankers in the region prompted fears that more commercial ships may be targeted.
A Dutch ship rescued the crew of one of two burning oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, the Dutch shipping company Acta Marine from Den Helder confirmed to NOS after reports in the Telegraaf. There were explosions on two oil tankers in the Gulf region on Thursday. The cause of the explosions has not yet been officially confirmed, but the general belief is that they were attacks.
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 Wopke Hoekstra of Finance canceled his planned visit to an investor conference in Saudi Arabia next week, following the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after he visited the Saudi consulate in Turkey. The consultancy firm that organized Hoekstra trip confirmed that the Minister is no longer going, ANP reports.
Surveillance camera footage show Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 3rd. There is no footage of him leaving again and he hasn't been seen since. There is still much confusion about what happened to him.
On Monday the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam called on people who make the Hajj, the pilgrimage, to Mecca to take selfies of their trip for a new exhibition, despite the fact that the Saudi authorities banned taking photos and selfies at religious and spiritual places in the country last year, AT5 reports.
The photo ban also applies to the Masjid al-Haram mosque, which is known as a pilgrimage site during Hajj.
At least 30 Islamic organizations in the Netherlands have applied for and received funding from conservative Gulf States in recent years. This involves millions of euros coming to the Netherlands from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, NRC and Nieuwsuur report based on confidential government information they managed to get hold of.
The United States' plans to ban laptops and tablets in the cabins of flights from Europe, was put on hold after the European Union decided against implementing it in an hours long meeting in Brussels on Wednesday. Other measures are still being considered, BBC reports.
Six of the ten large Dutch insurers still invest in companies that supply arms and weapons systems to Saudi Arabia, according to peace organization Pax in its Fair Insurance Guide. According to the organization, by investing in these companies, the Dutch insurers are violating human rights in Yemen, NOS reports.
Between 1996 and 2003 Dutch construction company Ballast Nedam paid bribes to the Saudi kings Fahd and Abdullah, broadcaster Human reported on Monday based on documents from the Tax Authorities' investigative department FIOD. All in all Ballast Nedam paid 500 million dollars to members of the Saudi royal family, according to the broadcaster.
The company and the Public Prosecutor reached a 17.5 million euros settlement on this bribery case in 2012.
A 62-year-old Muslim woman from the Netherlands was killed in a stampede during the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. Local authorities say that the incident took place on Thursday, and have reported at least 717 people dead with over 800 more injured.
Former Oranje coach Bert van Marwijk has been appointed to coach the Saudi Arabia team. He signed a one year contract and is starting in September
The Saudi cleric Aaidh al-Qarni is falsely labeled as “hate Imam”, while he actually confronts extremism, comments Muslims and Government Help Center (CMO). There were criticisms of his arrival, because in the past al-Qarni allowed himself hateful and anti-Semitic rhetoric.
The arrival of a Muslim leader in the Netherlands has once again caused concerns. Aaidh al-Qarni from Saudi Arabia has been invited by the Waqf foundation to speak at a conference in Eindhoven on Thursday.
The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice in Saudi Arabia has closed down a sweets shop for selling offensive to Islam cakes.
Amnesty International has asked the Netherlands to stop the return of Somali refugees.
In a surprise decision by the Concil of Ministers, the Netherlands has committed military personnel to the international fight against Islamic State (ISIS). In a press conference early Wednesday evening, Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher and Defence Minister Jeanine Hennis announced that the Netherlands will deploy six F-16s for air strikes only in Iraq, another two F-16s to be used as backups, in addition to sending a military defence team of 250 soldiers. The Netherlands will not take part in military missions in Syria.
Reports on twitter claim that dozens of Dutch and Belgium jihad fighters perished during the air raids on Islamic State (ISIS) around Aleppo in Syria.
When Geert Wilders sent his anti-Saudi and anti-Islam bumper sticker to the Saudi Arabian embassy, he did so using official stationary of the Parliament. The use of the government’s logo angered Saudi officials who might have otherwise dismissed Wilders’ personal crusade, revealed Foreign Affairs Minister Frans Timmermans following this week’s cabinet meeting.
The Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs, Frans Timmermans (PvdA) will "shortly" be traveling to Saudi Arabia to try and find a solution for the conflict that arose around the anti-Islam sticker action of Geert Wilders. His spokesperson told press office Novum this morning that there are "good indications" that the conflict can be solved.