In a parliamentary debate today on the progress made by the Dutch police training mission in the Afghan province Kunduz, foreign minister Uri Rosenthal emphasised once more the mission’s great importance.
‘NATO and the Netherlands support Turkey,’ said foreign minister Uri Rosenthal, following an incident last Friday where a Turkish aircraft was shot down by Syria. ‘I’m glad that NATO has met to hold consultations. We are behind Turkey. NATO strongly condemned Syria’s actions.’
On Wednesday, foreign minister Uri Rosenthal held talks with members of the Syria Committee. Last year several of its members organised ‘Jasmine Square’, a meeting place for the Syrian community. In addition to demonstrations, it hosts political debates on Syria, e.g. with members of parliament, and takes part in international consultations with members of the Syrian opposition.
The Netherlands wants to further strengthen cooperation with Israel. Economic affairs minister Maxime Verhagen and foreign minister Uri Rosenthal today discussed this with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
The Netherlands is helping speed up goods traffic with the Palestinian Territories by paying for a container scanner. In the past year, foreign minister Uri Rosenthal has gained support for this initiative from both Israelis and Palestinians. Today, he signed an implementation agreement.
Jordan has the Netherlands’ full support in its efforts, in cooperation with the Quartet, to bring Israel and the Palestinian Authority to the negotiating table. This was foreign minister Uri Rosenthal’s message in his bilateral meeting today with his Jordanian counterpart Nasser Judeh in Amman.
The Netherlands has earmarked an extra EUR 2 million for emergency aid to South Sudan. Ben Knapen, Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation, took this decision because of the rapidly worsening humanitarian situation in the country.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Uri Rosenthal, and the Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation, Maxime Verhagen, will visit the Middle East from Tuesday 5 June to Thursday 7 June. Both ministers will visit Israel, while Mr Rosenthal will also visit Jordan and the Palestinian Territories.
Though negotiations are proving difficult, the government is cautiously optimistic about the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). Delegation leader Ben Knapen, Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation, presented the aims of the Kingdom of the Netherlands at the Rio aan de Maas event in Rotterdam today.