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.
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.
Dutch F-16's are hardly deployed in missions over Syria because they are not equipped with the appropriation communication systems, parliamentarians discovered during a visit to Jordan this weekend.
Dutch parliamentarians are calling on the government to create a fund specifically intended to pay for the defense of Dutch journalists prosecuted abroad, in countries where freedom of press is under pressure.
D66 parliamentarian Sjoerd Sjoerdsma is calling for a national ban on nuclear weapons. "We all know what devastating consequences the use of nuclear weapons can have and I think it is a good idea for the Netherlands to have a national ban on nuclear weapons", Sjoerdsma said
Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice decided to cancel a working visit to Washington this weekend so that he can work on questions Parliament posed him regarding the terrorist attacks in Brussels last week. He also wants to focus on preparing for the debate on the issue set to take place next week.
Whistleblowers at the Ministry of Security and Justice "would be crazy" to report internal irregularities, because all they will get in return is to be bullied an punished, Sjaak Jansen, former Integrity Confidant at the Ministry, said to NRC. According to him, everything at the Ministry is aimed at keeping their own slate clean.
According to Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, the Netherlands' plan to ship asylum seekers arriving in Greece back to Turkey on a returning ferry is "illegal". The European Union does not participate in "pushing back" asylum seekers
In November last year officials told the government that they expect that some 90 thousand asylum seekers will arrive in the Netherlands in 2016. The government chose to ignore this prognosis and adjusted the plans to a lower number, namely 58 thousand asylum seekers, sources told television program Nieuwsuur.
The remarks made by the mayor of Cologne about the very high number of sexual assaults in the German city during New Year's lead to fierce criticism from Dutch politicians. Mayor Henriette Reker suggested that women should keep strangers "at arms length to avoid sexual harassment". Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher calls this statement "completely the wrong signal" that creates the impression that the victims could have done something to stop it.
The VVD wants to encourage asylum seekers to go back to their own regions by sobering the shelter in the Netherlands with limited social services. The D66, on the other hand, wants the government to allocate extra money to help refugees learn Dutch as quickly as possible so that they can start working and properly integrate into Dutch society.
PvdA leader Diederik Samsom thinks that the European Union should take in refugees together and get rid of the Dublin agreement. The D66 also likes the idea of one European policy on asylum seekers.