Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs regrets that he offended people with statements he made about multicultural societies and Suriname during a private meeting with Dutch working at international organizations last week. "I did not choose my words well and I regret that", he said in response to the commotion his remarks caused, NOS reports.
There are no peaceful multicultural societies and it is genetically determined that man can not connect with "unknown people", Minister Stef Blok (VVD) of Foreign Affairs said during a private meeting with Dutch who work for international organizations last week Tuesday, which current affairs program Zembla has footage of.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima will pay a state visit to the United Kingdom, at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth, in the autumn. The visit will take place on October 23rd and 24th. Minster Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs will accompany the Royal couple, government information service Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst announced.
The Netherlands and Indonesia are going to work together to protect Dutch shipwrecks in Indonesian waters, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs agreed with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi during Blok's visit to Jakarta, AD reports.
The United States decided to step out of the United Nations' Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs responded that he regrets the decision. Prime Minister Mark Rutte called it "unwise", the Telegraaf reports.
It is expected that later this year a decision will be made about the early release of Dutch-Surinamese man Jaitsen Singh, who has been in prison in the United States for 34 years. There is a chance that he was unjustly convicted of the murders of his wife and daughter, ANP reports.
Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said that the Netherlands expressed its support for an early release on humanitarian grounds. Singh is getting consular assistance from the Netherlands.
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.
"When it comes to establishing the truth and accountability for what happened to MH17, no single state has the right to remain silent", Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, NOS reports.
On Monday Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs will explain the Netherlands and Australia's decision to formally hold Russia accountable for its role in the downing of flight MH17 to a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels. He is counting on unanimous support from the European Union on this decision, sources told newspaper AD.
The Netherlands and Australia hold Russia accountable for "its share in the downing of flight MH17". Both countries informed Russia about this step, the Dutch government announced in a statement on Friday.
The Netherlands does not recognize the outcome of the elections held in Venezuela over the weekend, in which leftist president Nicolas Maduro was re-elected. "They were not free and independent elections", Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said to the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, RTL Nieuws 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.
Donald Trump withdrew the United States from an agreement with Iran that limits the Middle Eastern country's nuclear program in exchange for sanction relief. Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs calls this decision bad news for Dutch and European safety.
Government parties D66 and ChristenUnie are in talks with the Israeli ambassador and the representative of the Palestinian territories in the Netherlands about creating a direct connection between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank of the Jordan, NOS reports.
The two parties want Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs to take the initiative in starting talks with Israel and the Palestinians about a corridor for buses and trucks, among other things. They believe that such a connection will lead to access to medical care, family reunification and trade for the people in Gaza.
The Netherlands sees no sense in implementing more sanctions against Russia for its role in the situation in Syria, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said. "The only real solution for the Syrian conflict lies at the negotiating table", the Dutch Minister said, NOS reports.
There is no new Cold War between the West and Russia on the way, but finding "common ground" remains a challenge, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said in a press conference after meeting his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Friday. The Russians reaffirmed their cooperation in prosecuting those responsible for the MH17 disaster, he added, ANP reports.
Blok emphasized that, especially in difficult times like these, it is important that Europe and Russia stay in conversation with each other.
The prosecution of those responsible for the MH17 disaster is the first subject Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs will discuss with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov during his visit to Moscow on Friday. The Dutch Minister will also ask Russia to contribute to stopping the conflict in Syria, first of all by making a cease fire possible so that humanitarian aid can get to the people in the war-torn country, NOS reports.
Minister Ank Bijleveld of Defense understands why the United States is threatening military action in Syria following what is believed to be a poison gas attack in Douma. "If diplomatic, economical and political measures are insufficient, the Netherlands understands a proportional military action in Syria", she said to Nieuwsuur.
The Netherlands is deporting two Russian diplomats to show solidarity with the United Kingdom following a poison gas attack on ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in England. Relatives of people who died in the MH17 disaster are upset that the Dutch government is doing so now, but did not send Russian diplomats away after the Malaysia airlines flight was shot down.
Stef Blok, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, wants to make safety "the backbone of Dutch foreign policy". He particularly plans to focus on cybersecurity, he said in a memo on his strategy for the coming years sent to the Tweede Kamer on Tuesday, NOS reports.
Stef Blok will be appointed the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Telegraaf reports on Monday. He is expected to be sworn in on Friday.
Missing 25-year-old Anne Faber was found dead in the woods on holiday park Horsterwold in Zeewolde on Thursday afternoon. Her body was taken to the Netherlands Forensic Institute in The Hague for investigation. At around 9:00 p.m. the police announced on Twitter that their investigation at the scene was done and the area is open to the public again.
Nearly a quarter of Dutch mayors have been threatened by criminals, according to a survey of 4 thousand mayors, aldermen and officials by Pro Facto on behalf of the Ministry of Security and Justice. The researchers add that there is no sign of large-scale criminal influence on local governments, NOS reports.
Former police chief commissioner in Amsterdam Bernard Welten is resigning from the National Police, the Ministry of Security and Justice confirmed. This follows controversy over his high salary. Welten earned about 255 thousand euros per year - much higher than the 179 thousand euros Ministers earn per year as well as the 148 thousand euros National Police Chief Erik Akerboom earned last year, AD and ANP report.