UN envoy Bert Koenders takes over as Dutch foreign minister

Bert Koenders is to replace Frans Timmermans as foreign minister and will have an official meeting with prime minister Mark Rutte on Friday, according to Dutch media.

Koenders, who is currently the UN envoy in Mali, had been tipped to replace Timmermans who leaves the post of foreign minister on Friday to become vice president of the European Commission.

The 56-year-old Koenders was overseas development minister from 2007 to 2010 before joining the UN. Sources in The Hague say he always wanted to be in the foreign office. He was a Labour MP from 1997 to 2007.

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