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.
From next year, identity checks will be mandatory on all flights within the Schengen area, Minister Stef Blok of Security and Justice said, according to BNR. Earlier this week, the broadcaster reported that at least 10 airlines don't do ID checks when passenger check-in on a flight within the Schengen area, making it easy for criminals and terrorists to fly around Europe anonymously.
As the time for the Rutte II cabinet to hand over to a new government approaches, the confidence the Dutch public has in the departing government increases. The VVD and PvdA government hasn't enjoyed as much confidence from the voters since its inauguration in 2012, according to EenVandaag's Budget Day poll. The same goes for Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
The Dutch police still do too little to fight corruption within their own ranks, according to an investigation by the Ministry of Security and Justice's Scientific Research and Documentation Center, NOS reports.
Police officer screening is still not properly done, according to the researchers. "Ever fewer employees are subject to the heavier forms of screening", the report reads. The screening investigations are also less detailed than in the past and too few interim screenings are done.
Minister Stef Blok of Security and Justice revoked the Dutch nationality of four jihadists. According to him, the four jihadists joined a terrorist organization abroad, NOS reports.
The four jihadists were also declared unwelcome foreigners, which means they can no longer legally return to the Netherlands or to other Schengen countries, according to the broadcaster. They jihadists lost their Dutch citizenship with immediate effect, though a court will review the decision at a later date.
Sint Maarten hopes that the island can recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma within a year or two, deputy minister of the island Henrietta Doran-York said after a national council meeting in The Hague on Tuesday. She also praised the cooperation between the Netherlands and Sint Maarten in the run-up and aftermath of the hurricane, and refuted criticism about a lack of preparation for the hurricane, RTL Nieuws reports.
Since the establishment of the National Police in 2013, some 3 thousand police officers were placed on long-term sick leave and are now sitting at home with hardly any contact with their employer, Jan Struis, chairman of Dutch police union NPB, said on EenVandaag on Thursday. According to him, many of these cops were put on sick leave after expressing criticism about the police, ANP reports.