Stef Blok

Netherlands and Morocco
Dec 6 '19 17:00

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. 

Mark Rutte and Donald Trump
Dec 3 '19 16:20

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.

Women and children in a refugee camp
Nov 22 '19 16:45

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.

Islamic State, IS, ISIS attack in Iraq, Kurdistan.
Nov 8 '19 15:50

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.

Stef Blok
Oct 15 '19 16:20

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.

Oct 11 '19 14:30

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.

Sigrid Kaag
Oct 10 '19 13:53

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.

P1090423
Oct 2 '19 08:11

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.

China national flags
Sep 30 '19 09:54

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.

Stef Blok
Sep 26 '19 07:46

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.

Stef Blok
Sep 12 '19 13:50

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
Sep 6 '19 11:50

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.

Mark Rutte, January 2016
Jul 18 '19 07:56

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.

D-Day flag
Jul 12 '19 07:37

Prime Minister Mark Rutte has a meeting with United States president Donald Trump next week Thursday, July 18th, a White House spokesperson confirmed in a statement. During that visit, Rutte and art collector Bert Kreuk will hand over an the first American flag planted in Normandy on D-Day, which the collector decided to donate to the US, NU.nl reports.

Stef Blok
Jul 11 '19 09:19

The Netherlands, in collaboration with UNESCO, is organizing an international conference on the freedom of the press in May next year, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said in BBC program Newsnight. Blok is concerned about harassment and violence against journalists around the world.

Murat Memis
Jun 12 '19 08:12

The SP faction leader in the Eindhoven city council is being held in Turkey. Murat Memis was arrested and spent four days in jail. He was then released, but he is not allowed to leave Turkey while awaiting trial, Eindhoven mayor John Jorritsma informed the city council on Tuesday evening, NOS reports.

Ewold Hold
Jun 3 '19 11:00

Ewold Horn's death in the Philippines can be blamed on the Dutch government, according to Warren Rodwell from Australia, a former hostage of terrorist movement Abu Sayyaf. The fact that the 54-year-old Dutch man was still a hostage of Abu Sayyaf after seven years shows that the Dutch government did not put enough effort into getting him released, Rodwell said to Dagblad van het Noorden.

Dutch and American flags at the American WWII cemetery in Margraten
May 27 '19 14:00

The Netherlands honored the American soldiers who fought and died in the Second World War during a Memorial Day ceremony at the American cemetery in Margraten on Saturday. American ambassador Pete Hoekstra was among the attendees. "Today, we stand here with bowed heads, deeply grateful to these fallen soldiers for the legacy they have given us. A legacy of freedom and justice for all", Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said in his speech at the ceremony. 

May 17 '19 16:41

Russia has agreed to pay 2.7 million euro to the Netherlands as part of a final settlement to end the dispute over a 2013 incident where Russian personnel boarded a Greenpeace ship. The amount is less than the 7 million originally sought by Greenpeace and the Netherlands, and half the amount awarded at arbitration.

China national flags
May 15 '19 14:30

Collaboration with China is of great importance to the Netherlands, but with that cooperation the Netherlands must pay attention to the ideological differences that exist between the two countries, the Dutch government said in its new 'China strategy'. The 100-page long document outlines economic opportunities, but also concerns, NOS reports.

Stef Blok
May 10 '19 16:00

The Dutch government hopes that the United States and China manage to avert a trade war. Nobody has an interest in a trade war and free trade is crucial for the Netherlands, Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said on Friday, NOS reports.

A trade war between the two giants seem increasingly likely. The US is threatening to raise import tariffs on goods from China to 25 percent, according to the broadcaster. According to American president Donald Trump, China is not keeping its promises.

Willemstad, Curacao
May 3 '19 10:00

American companies can again do business with the Isla refinery in Curacao, despite United States sanctions against the Venezuelan state oil company PdVSA. The Curacao government owns the refinery and leases it to PdVSA, NOS reports

Aerial photo of the Colombo, Sri Lanka coast
Apr 21 '19 17:56

At least one Dutch woman was among the hundreds of people killed in a seemingly coordinated set of attacks on Easter Sunday in and around Colombo, Sri Lanka, and several other cities in the South Asian island nation. The 54-year-old woman died in a blast triggered by a suicide bomber at the five-star Cinnamon Grand Hotel in a central, popular part of Colombo.

Stef Blok
Apr 9 '19 16:50

The Dutch government is willing to give the British another postponement for the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union, because it is also in the Netherlands best interest. "The Dutch interest is that there should be a regulated Brexit and not a hard Brexit. If postponement contributes to that, it is positive", Minister Stef Blok of Foreign Affairs said, NU.nl reports.

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