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Archive for Netherlands

Newsline: Russian embassy says the Netherlands is spreading anti-Russian sentiment

The Russian embassy in The Hague has condemned the way perceptions of Russia are being twisted in Dutch public opinion, in its first comment on foreign minister Halbe Zijlstra’s admission that he lied about a meeting with president Vladimir Putin. Zijlstra has been under fire since admitting on Monday that he lied about overhearing Putin define ‘Greater Russia’ as ‘Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and the Baltic states,’ then adding that ‘Kazakhstan was nice to have’. In a two page English statement, the embassy says it considers Zijlstra’s comments as a domestic matter. It then goes on to say ‘we cannot ignore how perceptions of Russia’s aggressive intentions are being persistently propagated in Dutch public opinion.’ ‘The attempts to attribute to Russia “great-power ambitions” and the desire to recreate “the Soviet Empire” do not hold up against any criticism,’ the statement said.



Newsline: Netherlands removes ambassador to Turkey and blocks new Turkish embassy appointment

The Netherlands has officially withdrawn its ambassador to Turkey and barred the appointment of a new Turkish embassy official, the Dutch government has announced. The Dutch foreign ministry said: “The Dutch government has decided to officially withdraw the Netherlands’ ambassador in Ankara, who has not had access to Turkey since March 2017. “As long as the Netherlands has no ambassador to Turkey, the Netherlands will also not issue permission for a new Turkish ambassador to take up duties in the Netherlands.” The two nations fell out last year following the Dutch government’s decision to block visas for Turkish officials campaigning for votes among expats living in the Netherlands in the lead-up to Turkey’s controversial referendum which granted Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers. The Netherland’s refusal to grant Turkey’s foreign minister permission to land in March 2017 led to a mass rally outside the Dutch consulate in Istanbul, prompting its closure.


Newsline: Dutch arrest eight for attacking Iran embassy

Eight people have been detained in The Hague after they broke into the Iranian embassy and threw projectiles at the building, police said. The suspects were arrested and accused of a variety of offences including sedition, disrupting public order, attempted arson and unauthorised entry, police spokeswoman Hilda Vijverberg told AFP. Footage on public broadcaster NOS shows a group of men shouting “Death to the Islamic Republic” in Farsi, climbing the barrier into the embassy compound and hurling what were probably eggs or pebbles at the building. Dozens of protesters staged demonstrations in The Hague and Amsterdam against the Iranian regime.



Newsline: US ambassador to the Netherlands caught lying about the Dutch

A Dutch journalist just asked new U.S. Ambassador Pete Hoekstra why he said there are “no go” areas in the Netherlands, where radical Muslims are setting cars and politicians on fire. Hoekstra denied it, and called the claim “fake news.” The report cut to a video clip of Hoekstra at a 2015 conference hosted by the David Horowitz Freedom Center saying: “The Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos. Chaos in the Netherlands, there are cars being burned, there are politicians that are being burned.” “And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands,” he added in the clip. Then things got extremely weird. When the reporter pressed, Hoekstra denied using the term “fake news,” which he’d uttered moments before. “I didn’t call that fake news,” he said. “I didn’t use the words today. I don’t think I did.” Hoekstra was being interviewed by reporter Wouter Zwart for current affairs program Nieuwsuur.



Newsline: Dutch Embassy Feels Driven To Fact-Check Trump’s Islamophobic Retweet

The Dutch Embassy called out President Donald Trump on Wednesday for retweeting an Islamophobic and factually incorrect video of an incident in the Netherlands. Earlier that day, Trump had retweeted without comment a series of videos that had been shared by British far-right activist Jayda Fransen, who serves as deputy leader of the anti-Muslim group Britain First. The three random videos purportedly show Muslims committing violence, but they’re misleadingly presented. One video of a boy beating up another boy is captioned in English, “Muslim migrant beats up Dutch boy on crutches!” But its original caption on a Dutch website didn’t mention race or religion, and local media reported that the 16-year-old aggressor was not actually a migrant. The Embassy of the Netherlands in Washington, D.C., corroborated the perpetrator’s real identity in a tweet directed at Trump that began pointedly, “Facts do matter.” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended the president’s actions by saying, essentially, it doesn’t matter whether the videos were accurately or fairly described because “the threat is real.” Sanders did not elaborate on what the threat was, exactly, but emphasized the need to secure America’s borders. The White House did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.



Newsline: Dutch embassy in Libya reopens after three years

The Netherlands again has an ambassador in Libya. Ambassador Eric Stating arrived in the capital city of Tripoli and is busy setting up an office, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced. The embassy in Tripoli closed in 2014 when the situation in Libya became too dangerous, NOS reports. Since then, the embassy for Libya is based in Tunis. This embassy will remain open in addition to the newly reopened embassy in Tripoli. In a statement, Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs said that the Netherlands is committed to help restore stability in Libya. A civil war has raged in the country since 2011.



Newsline: Hungary pulls ambassador from Netherlands

Hungary has pulled its ambassador out of the Netherlands, in response to criticism by the outgoing Dutch ambassador in Hungary. Gajus Scheltema reportedly criticised Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán’s government in a magazine interview, comparing its rhetoric to that of Islamic terrorists, and sparking the row. According to the ANP, Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó announced on that ‘contacts at an ambassadorial level have been suspended indefinitely’, and said Scheltema had overstepped the boundaries of his role. Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders distanced himself from the ambassador’s reported comments.