Her Majesty the Queen announced her abdication today. His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange is the successor to the throne.
Zoals u allen weet, hoop ik over enkele dagen mijn 75ste verjaardag te vieren. Ik ben dankbaar dat het mij gegund is deze dag in goede gezondheid tegemoet te gaan. Aan het éinde van dit jaar zullen wij herdenken dat ons land tweehonderd jaar geleden een koninkrijk werd, waarmee in onze geschiedenis een nieuw tijdperk aanbrak. Het samenvallen van deze twee bijzondere gebeurtenissen is voor mij de aanleiding geweest te besluiten dit jaar uit mijn ambt terug te treden. Het lijkt mij een goed moment om deze stap, die ik al enige jaren overweeg, nu daadwerkelijk te nemen.
‘Latin America’s increasing geopolitical influence and economic growth open up political and economic opportunities for the Netherlands and other EU member states. The EU and Latin America share common values such as fundamental freedoms, democracy and the rule of law, and should therefore work together to promote human rights worldwide. We should also work together on international peace and security.’ Foreign minister Frans Timmermans delivered this message on arriving in Santiago de Chile to attend the EU-LAC Summit on sustainable development. This two-day conference brings together heads of state and government from all EU, Latin American and Caribbean countries.
Following the Brazilian nightclub fire, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans has offered Brazil’s foreign minister Antonio Patriota and the victims’ loved ones his deepest condolences. The ministers spoke in the margins of the EU-Latin America summit in Chile.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans today spoke with Surinamese foreign minister Winston Lackin. The meeting at the EU-Latin America summit in Santiago de Chile was the first ministerial contact between the Netherlands and Suriname since 2010.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans today had a first meeting with his Cuban counterpart, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla. The two ministers agreed to open a dialogue about relations between the Netherlands and Cuba. ‘Cuba is undergoing reforms and the relationship between Cuba and the EU is changing,’ Mr Timmermans said. ‘That is significant not only for the Netherlands but also for the Caribbean countries in the Kingdom.’
Minister of Finance Jeroen Dijsselbloem, 46, has been appointed president of the Eurogroup, the informal administrative body of the states of the Eurozone. ‘It’s a great honour for me to be given this job, particularly in these difficult economic times for the eurozone.’
The training of police officers in Kunduz province, Aghanistan, has entered a new phase, with the Dutch mission now focusing more on helping the Afghan government prepare to take over the training itself. The government describes this shift in a progress report on the Kunduz mission, sent to the House of Representatives today. With the international mission ending in 2014, more responsibility for internal safety and security is being handed over to the Afghan authorities, and the Dutch mission’s new role is in line with this trend.
The UN refugee organisation UNHCR is to receive Dutch support in its search for solutions to the problem of large numbers of refugees living for years in refugee camps, as is the case now in the east of Sudan.
‘For the Netherlands, Worldwide’ is the title of the annual conference which brings together Dutch ambassadors and consuls general in The Hague for a programme addressing current international themes and policy questions. There are many challenges, so an ambitious approach is called for. ‘The Netherlands must provide excellent service, both when it comes to promoting trade and performing consular tasks,’ said foreign minister Frans Timmermans.