This year the Netherlands is giving a fresh boost to its relations with Indonesia, starting with a working visit to Jakarta today and tomorrow by foreign minister Frans Timmermans.
The Netherlands confidently chooses to occupy a central position in a democratic and prosperous Europe. This does not mean, however, that it is turning a blind eye to discontent about flaws in the European partnership. The EU can be improved. And the Netherlands, motivated by enlightened self-interest, will work hard to make this happen. The Netherlands needs the European partnership, especially given the major changes and new challenges facing the world. Only if we actively take part in the dialogue can we help determine the direction the Union will take.
‘The Netherlands values its economic relations with Poland and its cooperation with Poland in the EU. Our ties are strong, but we can do even more together.’ Foreign minister Frans Timmermans delivered this message in Warsaw today, during talks with his Polish counterpart, Radosław Sikorski.
‘Economic relations between the Netherlands and Romania are already close, but we can benefit from them even more by promoting trade and cooperating in areas such as agriculture,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans during a meeting with his Romanian counterpart Titus Corlăţean in The Hague. ‘The Netherlands and Romania could also work together more closely within the European Union, for instance on improving our relations with the EU’s eastern neighbours, such as Russia, Ukraine and Moldova.’
‘An irresponsible provocation’ was how foreign minister Frans Timmermans described North Korea’s third underground nuclear test, which was carried out today. He went on to say that it ‘undermined stability and security in the region’. The Minister expressed the belief that the regime in Pyongyang was isolating itself even further with this test, adding that it was characteristic of this regime that it was spending so much money on its nuclear programme while the North Korean people were going hungry.
Foreign minister Frans Timmermans has expressed concern at the findings of Bulgaria’s investigation into the deadly attack on a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Burgas in July 2012. Earlier today Bulgaria concluded that the military wing of Hezbollah was responsible. Mr Timmermans sees this as confirmation of the Netherlands’ position that Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation.
The Netherlands is working with Germany to organise an international conference on restoring Syria’s water supply. The aim is to restore the supply of drinking water to the population in northern Syria as soon as the situation allows.
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.