Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

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131 The Hague gains another international organisation

The Hague has gained another international organisation. The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA) is opening an office there for its programme to help developing countries and new democracies draft and amend their constitutions. The headquarters agreement was signed today.

132 Rosenthal summons Eritrean chargé d’affaires

Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal has summoned the Eritrean chargé d’affaires ad interim to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has asked him to explain why the embassy is collecting taxes and raising funds from Dutch nationals of Eritrean origin and Eritrean nationals living in the Netherlands.

133 Four million euros in extra emergency aid for the Sahel Four million euros in extra emergency aid for the Sahel

The Netherlands is making an extra EUR 4 million available for emergency aid to the Sahel region. This was announced on Wednesday by international cooperation minister Ben Knapen. The money will go to the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) which, as well as providing emergency food aid, is working on structural solutions to improve food security in the region.

134 Rosenthal summons Eritrean chargé d’affaires

Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal has summoned the Eritrean chargé d’affaires ad interim to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He has asked him to explain why the embassy is collecting taxes and raising funds from Dutch nationals of Eritrean origin and Eritrean nationals living in the Netherlands.

135 Rosenthal summons Belarusian ambassador

Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal has summoned the Belarusian ambassador to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convey the Netherlands’ objections to the expulsion of all Swedish diplomats from Belarus. The Minister’s move is part of a coordinated action by the EU member states.

136 Netherlands steps up cooperation with Burma

Now that Burma is making reforms and European Union sanctions have been suspended, the Netherlands is stepping up its cooperation with Burma. Burmese, Dutch and other companies can now use Dutch programmes to stimulate the Burmese economy, and Burmese can apply to the Netherlands Fellowships Programme (NFP) for student grants.

137 Libyans reach milestone

With the transfer of power from the National Transitional Council to the General National Congress, Libya has taken a major step forward, says foreign minister Uri Rosenthal. ‘Following the success of the country’s first free elections, this is a new milestone for Libya and the Libyans,’ Mr Rosenthal said. ‘It is my pleasure to congratulate them.’

138 Rosenthal indignant at Belarusian expulsion of Swedish diplomats

Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal is indignant that all Swedish diplomats have been told to leave Belarus within 30 days. The Belarusian government had already refused to extend the Swedish ambassador’s accreditation, saying that he had too many contacts with opposition groups.

139 Syrian Prime Minister’s defection reveals cracks in regime

Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal has welcomed the news of the Syrian Prime Minister’s defection. ‘This shows that there are cracks in the regime,’ he said. ‘Army officers and diplomats had already defected; now Assad is losing the support of trusted leaders. The more officials who give up their loyalty to Assad, the better. This weakens the regime from within. The Dutch government would encourage other officials to follow this example.’

140 Defection of Syrian PM suggests cracks in regime

Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal is pleased with reports that the Syrian prime minister has now defected. ‘Cracks are appearing in the regime. Assad is now losing the support of his confidants. We’ve already seen the defections of diplomats and members of the military.’