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Archive for Netherlands

Newsline: The Netherlands to get three new embassies

The Netherlands is to establish three new embassies, in Armenia, Niger and Burkina Faso, foreign minister Stef Blok has told MPs. The current diplomatic missions in Niamey and Ouagadougou will be expanded and given full embassy status as part of cabinet efforts to focus more attention on the Sahel region, Blok said. (https://www.dutchnews.nl/news/2019/12/diplomatic-expansion-the-netherlands-to-get-three-new-embassies/) Both offices are currently satellites of the Dutch embassy in Mali. The new embassy in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, means there will also be Dutch representation throughout the region, the minister said. In addition, the current Dutch diplomatic missions in Abuja (Nigeria), Amman, Bagdad, Beijing, Bogota, Brussels, Caracas, Geneva, New York, Rabat, Tirana and Vilnius will be strengthened, Blok said. The government’s coalition accord included a commitment to spend €40m to strengthen the Dutch diplomatic presence abroad and reopen embassies and consulates. Some €10m has already been spent on adding 29 posts to the Dutch diplomatic mission south and east of the EU, because of the instability in these regions. In May 2017, the government advisory board for international affairs AIV said €70m to €80m a year needed to be spent to bring Dutch embassies up to scratch following years of cutbacks.

Newsline: Iran briefly detains 2 European diplomats

Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency is reporting that police in the capital, Tehran, briefly detained two European diplomats at a mixed-gender party, which are illegal under Iranian law. June 1 report said a British and a Dutch diplomat were released after being identified as foreign government workers in the early hours of May 31 morning. (https://www.foxnews.com/world/iran-briefly-detains-2-european-diplomats-at-coed-party) The report said the party was attended by several men and women, but did not elaborate or specify if alcohol was present. In Iran, it is illegal to drink alcohol or hold mixed parties of Muslim men and women who are not related. Both activities are permitted for the country’s small Christian minority.

Newsline: Netherlands recalls Iranian ambassador after Dutch staff expelled

The Netherlands on Mar. 4 recalled its ambassador to Iran after after Tehran expelled two diplomats from the Dutch embassy, Foreign Minister Stef Blok said. “Have decided to recall the ambassador in Tehran for consultations,” Blok said in a tweet. “The decision follows the expulsion of two Dutch embassy staff. That is unacceptable.” (https://www.foxnews.com/world/dutch-ambassador-recalled-from-tehran-amid-dispute-with-iran) The Dutch government last year expelled two Iranians due to suspicions that Tehran was involved in the assassinations in the Netherlands of two Dutch-Iranian citizens.

Newsline: Dutch ambassador to Pakistan returns to Islamabad next month

The Dutch ambassador to Pakistan is returning to the embassy in Islamabad at the beginning of next month after three months in the Netherlands. Ardi Stoios-Braken was stopped from returning to the country after coming home for a short holiday to see her family in November. She was not allowed to return because of death threats made against both her and embassy staff. The threats followed anti-Islam comments on social media by Geert Wilders, leader of the PVV party. Stoios-Braken told the AD on Saturday that ‘measures have been taken’ to improve security and that the Pakistan authorities have tackled those behind the threats. ‘We may have to be more cautious, and things which I used to do, I may no longer do,’ the ambassador, who has seven months left in this posting, told the paper.


Newsline: Tehran summons Dutch ambassador over embassy attack

Iran has summoned the Dutch ambassador to Tehran over an attack on the Islamic Republic’s diplomatic mission in The Hague. Following an assault by a number of individuals affiliated to a separatist group on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Embassy in The Hague, Dutch Ambassador to Tehran Jacques Werner was summoned by the director general for Europe affairs at the Iranian Foreign Ministry. The ministry expressed Tehran’s strong protest over the incident and called on the Dutch government to fulfill its duties to protect diplomats and diplomatic missions and increase the security measures for the Islamic Republic’s missions. The Dutch envoy, in turn, expressed his regret over the attack and offered a report on the Dutch police’s measures to arrest the attackers.


Newsline: Tehran Urges Netherlands to Protect Iranian Diplomats

Iran’s ambassador to The Hague called on high-ranking officials of the Netherlands to preserve the security of Iranian diplomats and the country’s embassy in the European country after Wednesday’s attack on Iran’s embassy building. The call by Alireza Jahangiri came after supporters of a terrorist group called Al-Ahvaziya attacked the Iranian embassy in The Hague on Wednesday afternoon. The attackers gathered in front of the embassy building and chanted anti-Iran slogans and threw rocks and bottles. They also tried to climb the adjacent embassy building but were immediately arrested by the Dutch police. According to one of the embassy diplomats, none of the embassy staff was hurt during the incident. Meantime, the Dutch authorities regretted the attack and emphasized the necessity of safeguarding the security of the representative offices and embassy staff.


Newsline: Visa service at Netherlands embassy resumes in Pakistan

The Netherlands resu­med visa and passport services in Pakistan following a brief suspension, denying that its embassy had closed over security concerns after the country gave shelter to the lawyer of a Christian woman involved in a blasphemy case. Religious parties spearheaded by the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan blocked streets and hurled threats at judges after the Supreme Court on Oct 31 overturned the conviction of Aasia Bibi, a mother of five, who had been on death row for eight years. Aasia’s lawyer, Saiful Mulook, fled to the Netherlands soon after the verdict, citing death threats. The Dutch government said on Thursday that it had offered him temporary shelter. On Friday, the Dutch government said in a statement that its embassy in Pakistan, which is in a tightly guarded Diplomatic Enclave, had temporarily halted issuing visas “due to circumstances beyond our control”. On Monday evening, the embassy updated the statement: “The Netherlands embassy in Pakistan has resumed all consular/visa related services”. The media earlier reported that the embassy had been forced to close because of threats. But the Dutch foreign ministry said reports of the embassy’s closure were mistaken. “The Dutch embassy in Pakistan is open,” the ministry said. “I can add that we take the security of the embassy and our employees very seriously. This is also the subject of consultations between the Netherlands and Pakistan,” an official at the Dutch foreign office said.