Thursday 09 December 2021

Cabinet continues to defend Saudi Arabia visit

The visit to Saudi Arabia by king Willem-Alexander following the death of the Saudi king was in the Netherlands’ interests, foreign minister Bert Koeders said on Tuesday.

It is because the Netherlands maintains a relationship with the country that ministers can raise questions about human rights abuses, Koenders told parliament.

A number of opposition parties had criticised the decision to send both the king and Koenders to pay their respects in Riyad.

‘It is an illusion to think you can defend human rights by being isolated,’ Koenders said, pointing out that Saudi campaigners are not in favour of a boycott.

While the Netherlands does have economic interests in Saudia Arabia, the two countries are also working together to combat terrorism and IS, he said.

Thank you for donating to

The team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments. has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.