Government party D66 no longer wants airlines to decide for themselves whether to fly over conflict areas. Instead, the European aviation authority EASA should be in charge of that decision, according to D66 parliamentarians Jan Paternotte and Sjoerd Sjoerdsma. They will submit a motion to this effect during a debate on aviation and conflict zones on January 29th.
A 22-year-old Dutch-Persian woman who had plans to vacation in the United States with her friends had those dreams crushed when she was not allowed to board her plane to Los Angeles at Schiphol last week. Annahita Mazaheri was banned from entering the U.S. due to her Iranian surname, she said to AD. The D66 wants to know whether the U.S. immigration service has the authority to refuse passengers on Dutch territory.
In response to a drone attack by the United States on a Baghdad airport, killing an Iranian military leader, Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok said the events unfolding in Iraq are "worrying and serious." The attack happened weeks before the Dutch military was to send a frigate and helicopter to help patrol the Strait of Hormuz, which the U.S. requested months ago.
"The American people are constantly being lied to", is the conclusion of an institute that investigated whether American money for the war in Afghanistan is being well spent. Those involved knew from the start that the war could not be won. Dutch parliamentarians are flabbergasted and want to debate the matter with Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld, NOS reports.
The conservative VVD party is willing to discuss retrieving the children of Dutch jihadists from Syria and bringing them back to the Netherlands, but only if their parents do not come with them, parliamentarian Dilan Yesilgoz said on television show Pauw. Up until now the party of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte always outright refused to negotiate on this topic.
"When it comes to children, that of course also affects me. Especially if they are small children", VVD MP Yesilgoz said on the television program. "They didn't choose this themselves."
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.
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.
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.
Chinese spies stole trade secrets from Dutch chip machine maker ASML, causing hundreds of millions of euros worth of damage, Financieele Dagblad reports based on its own research. This is the largest known espionage case ever at a Dutch company, the newspaper writes.
Financieele Dagblad correspondent Ans Boersma was deported from Turkey because she is suspected of having links with a terrorist organization, a spokesperson for Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a written statement. The spokesperson said Turkey received information about the issue from the Dutch police, who asked Turkey to share information about Boersma's "journeys in and out of Turkey", NU.nl reports.
The government will immediately launch an investigation into the NLA program, in which the Netherlands offered "non lethal support" to the moderate armed opposition in Syria, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said. He called it "worrying" that the Public Prosecutor labeled at least one group that received Dutch support as terrorist, AD 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.
The usual procedure was deviated from in awarding the Human Rights Defender Tulip to the Jordanian prince Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, Minister Stef Blokf of Foreign Affairs acknowledged to the Telegraaf.
Dutch police officers, soldiers, prosecutors and diplomats were spied on by Ukrainian and Russian secret services while they were in Ukraine after the MH17 disaster in 2014, RTL Nieuws reports based on well-informed sources.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs does not rule out that in the future the Netherlands will also hold Ukraine accountable for its role in the MH17 disaster. "There is no concrete legal ground for this, but the cabinet does not rule anything out", he said in a parliamentary debate on the government's decision to hold Russia accountable for its role in the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight, NU.nl reports.
At this time Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs sees no reason to summon the Israeli ambassador for an explanation about the dozens of deaths and hundreds of wounded who fell during demonstrations on the Palestinian side of the Gaza Strip on Monday, he said to parliament on Tuesday, NU.nl reports.
D66 parliamentarian Sjoerd Sjoerdsma is calling for an internal investigation into sexual harassment in Dutch politics. According to him, the #MeToo trend drew a lot of much needed attention to this issue, but it should not be left with only media attention, NOS reports.
Sjoerdsma wants the internal investigation to look into sexual harassment in the Ministries as well as in the Eerste Kamer and Tweede Kamer - the Dutch Senate and lower house of parliament. He wants to investigate how safe employees are in the work environment.
Donald Trump's decision to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is "unwise and counterproductive", Minister Halbe Zijlstra of Foreign Affairs said to a delegation of the United States government in Brussels on Wednesday. The EU countries gave this same message to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during lunch. "This is going to reverse the peace process rather than moving it forward", Zijlstra said to NOS.
The Netherlands' center for information and documentation on Israel, CIDI, worries that an "explosion of violence" will result from the United States recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, director Hanna Luden said to NOS. Donald Trump is expected to officially announce later today that the United States is moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. ChristenUnie thinks the Netherlands should follow suit, parliamentarian Joel Voordewind said to BNR.
The VVD, D66 and PvdA want clarification from the government on exactly what role the Netherlands played in the case against former Transavia pilot Julio Poch. After years in custody, the Argentinian-Dutch man was acquitted on Wednesday of involvement in so-called "death flights" during the military dictatorship in Argentina between 1976 and 1983, ANP reports.
With Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan claiming a narrow victory in a referendum designed to give his office more power, several politicians in the Netherlands expressed disdain for the vote results. Erdogan opponents in Turkey questioned the veracity of the vote count, with Turkish state media claiming that 70 percent of Turkish passport holders in the Netherlands voting to give Erdogan greater authority.
A proposal by the VVD and PvdA to have a debate on the preliminary results of the MH17 criminal investigation received broad support from Dutch parliamentarians. The coalition partners feel it important to discuss the consequences, now that it has been clearly established that flight MH17 was shot down by a a BUK missile from Russia fired from a field controlled by pro-Russian separatists
Only days after Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Foreign Minister Bert Koenders' frantic diplomatic efforts to limit Turkish interference in Dutch society, the Turkish state news agency published a new so-called "Gulen list" on Tuesday. The list contains names of organizations in the Netherlands allegedly affiliated with Fethullah Gulen, which are to be boycotted because they are considered enemies of the Turkish State. Politicians in the Netherlands are furious.
Parties in the Tweede Kamer - the lower house of Dutch parliament - are furious about statements the Turkish ambassador to the Netherlands made pressuring the Dutch government to help hunt down supporters of the Gulen-movement. Numerous parliamentarians expressed their annoyance to NU.nl.