Cruise ships MS Zaandam and MS Rotterdam of the Holland America Line were allowed to dock in Fort Lauderdale in Florida, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said on Twitter. A number of passengers on MS Zaandam tested positive for coronavirus Covid-19.
The some 200 thousand Dutch tourists stuck abroad are running out of time and possibilities to get home as more and more countries close their borders and global air traffic gets closer to being shut down. Some 150 thousand people are at risk of getting stranded for a long time, the Telegraaf reports after speaking to travel agencies and airlines.
Donald Trump's decision to ban flights between Europe and the United states is "potentially very drastic", Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said on Thursday. "We have very intensive relationships, a lot of people- and a lot of trade traffic." The Minister will examine whether the travel advice for the United States needs to be adjusted, he said to NOS.
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.
Fifteen Dutch and two Chinese spouses who were evacuated from the city of Wuhan - the epicenter of the new coronavirus outbreak - arrived safely at Eindhoven Airport around midnight, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said on Twitter. The group departed from Wuhan during the early hours of Sunday morning, arrived in France at around 2:00 p.m., and then traveled to the Netherlands, NU.nl reports.
A total of 18 Dutch in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the epicenter for the new coronavirus, reported to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that they want to be evacuated from the country, Minister Stef Blok confirmed. Exactly when this evacuation will happen, is not yet clear. The Dutch embassy in China warned Dutch in the area that they may have to spend 14 days in quarantine in another EU country.
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.
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.
The international coalition in the fight against terrorist organization ISIS decided to partly halt a mission to train Iraqi soldiers, in which Dutch soldiers are also involved, after a resolution in which the Iraqi parliament voted against the military presence of other countries in Iraq. The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs is studying the resolution and is in consultation with the other countries in the anti-ISIS resolution, the Ministry said to NOS.
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 Netherlands is opening three new embassies in Armenia, Niger and Burkina Faso in order to be "better prepared for migration flows and to be able to cope with terrorism and human rights violations", Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs announced in a letter to parliament.
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.
The Netherlands will not have to retrieve children of Dutch citizens awaiting their fates in Syrian detention and displacement camps, the kids of Dutch women who left the Netherlands to enter conflict zones in Syria and Iraq. The Appellate Court in The Hague overturned a lower court's ten-day old order on an emergency appeal filed on behalf of the Dutch government by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Security & Justice.
Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok came out against his fellow conservative VVD party members on Friday, saying he was opposed to any suggestion that Dutch people who joined ISIS should receive capital punishment in Iraq. Some MPs in the party, which is led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, said that Dutch enemy combatants should face trial in Iraq where they would be eligible for the death penalty.
"That can be the ultimate consequence," said Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, a VVD parliamentarian, according to the ANP newswire.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.