Foreign minister Frans Timmermans today discussed the peace initiative taken by US President Barrack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry with Palestinian leaders in Ramallah, urging the Palestinians to embrace the initiative. Mr Timmermans conveyed the same message yesterday to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The Netherlands is to set up forums for cooperation with Israel. This has been agreed by foreign minister Frans Timmermans and prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu of Israel. Today, Mr Timmermans will forge a similar agreement with the prime minister of the Palestinian Territories, Rami Hamdallah.
Frans Timmermans, Minister of Foreign Affairs, opens the third Freedom Online conference with a speech on internet freedom.
Next week, foreign minister Frans Timmermans will visit Tunisia, Israel, the Palestinian Territories and Turkey.
The Netherlands, Aruba, Curaçao and St Maarten have entered into an agreement with Venezuela to expand political and economic cooperation.
The Netherlands signed the UN Arms Trade Treaty in New York on Monday, June 3. By regulating international trade in conventional weapons, the agreement will contribute to a safer world.
The Advisory Committee on Modernising the Diplomatic Service (chaired by Arthur Docters van Leeuwen) has issued a progress report with measures aimed at making the Ministry of Foreign Affairs more effective in a changing world. These include clustering the network of diplomatic missions (with a coordinating role for larger embassies within the network), broader training for diplomats based on fixed standards, and a more publicly visible foreign ministry. Today the Committee presented the report to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frans Timmermans, who will use it in drawing up the policy letter on modernising the diplomatic service that he will submit to the House of Representatives in June.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Bert Koenders as his Special Representative and Head of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA). The former Dutch minister for development cooperation will be responsible for the entire UN operation in Mali and will coordinate the international efforts there.
Foreign minister Frans Timmermans today met with UN deputy secretary-general Jan Eliasson. They discussed the UN’s efforts with regard to the crises in Syria and Mali as well as the reconstruction of Afghanistan and the Netherlands’ role in that process.
The Stabilization Mission’s main task is to contribute to a peaceful and stable Mali. Mr Koenders will head a new type of mission, comprising over 11,000 military personnel and 1,440 police. Under his direction, the aim is to get peace negotiations off the ground, prepare for elections, protect the population and set up and implement a great many programmes relating to judicial reform, economic development and human rights.