The Netherlands is to give €1m in emergency aid to the Syrian people. Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal made this announcement at a meeting in Tunis today at which a group of like-minded countries established the ‘Friends of Syria’. ‘This meeting of over 60 countries and international organisations demonstrates the international community’s impatience,’ said Mr Rosenthal.
The stabilisation of Somalia was the central issue today at a summit chaired by British Prime Minister David Cameron. Representatives of over 50 countries discussed peace and security, the formation of a new political system, and economic reconstruction. Representing the Netherlands, Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal called for further international efforts to combat piracy and terrorism. On 20 August 2012 the term of the present transitional government will come to an end. Before that time a constitution must be drawn up, which will be an important step on the way to the stabilisation of the country.
The Netherlands and Turkey are commemorating the 400th anniversary of diplomatic relations this year. The first major event in this connection is the exhibition ‘Rembrandt and his contemporaries – The Golden Age of Dutch Art’ in Istanbul’s Sakip Sabancı Museum. The exhibition was opened this evening by President Gül of Turkey and the Dutch foreign minister, Uri Rosenthal.
Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal met last Friday afternoon with the heads of missions of 10 Central and Eastern European countries. Last week the diplomats wrote to the leaders of the parliamentary parties in the House of Representatives about a website run by the Freedom Party (PVV) which invites members of the public to make complaints about Central and Eastern European migrants.
The government and the House of Representatives reviewed the ISAF mission in Uruzgan today. The Netherlands was lead nation of the mission from 2006 to 2010, which operated in difficult and dangerous conditions to increase the level of security and stability in the Afghan province. There have been tangible results: the security situation and accessibility have improved and socioeconomic development has begun.
Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal visited Paris yesterday on the occasion of the annual plenary meeting of the Franco-Dutch Cooperation Council. Mr Rosenthal also had a meeting with his French counterpart, foreign minister Alain Juppé
On Wednesday 15 February 2012, Minister of Foreign Affairs Uri Rosenthal met his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov for consultations. The two ministers agreed that Dutch-Russian relations are developing in a positive direction and that bilateral trade and investments are considerable.
Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal visited the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for talks on Monday. The main topic of discussion was the situation in Iran. The Minister said that the information he had received was not encouraging.
Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal is concerned about the fate of Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari, who has been accused of blasphemy by the Saudi authorities. Mr Kashgari was detained by the Malaysian authorities while in transit in Kuala Lumpur and has now been deported to Saudi Arabia.
An international task force chaired by the Netherlands and Slovakia will help Tunisia in the transitional process towards democracy and the rule of law. The 23 countries and two intergovernmental organisations participating in the Task Force for Tunisia met for the first time today in Tunis.