Saturday 15 May 2021

New US ambassador to the Netherlands hands his credentials to the king

Photo: Pool/Patrick van Katwijk / HH

The new US ambassador to the Netherlands handed over his credentials to king Willem-Alexander at the Noordeinde palace in The Hague on Wednesday.

Hoekstra is the first US ambassador to the Netherlands since early 2016, when Timothy Broas resigned. Since 2005, no US ambassador to the Netherlands has completed a four-year term in office.

Pete Hoekstra was born in Groningen but his family emigrated to the US when he was three. He was a member of the House of Representatives for eight years but failed to win a senate seat in 2012.

A religious conservative, Hoekstra opposes gay marriage and abortion, both of which are legal in the Netherlands. He also supports the death penalty and takes a very hard line on terrorism and Islam.

The new ambassador caused controversy at the end of last year when he denied having told a conference that there are no-go areas in parts of the Netherlands and that politicians are being set on fire.

He later apologised for describing the claims as fake news.

Asked by journalists on Wednesday about the controversy, Hoekstra refused to comment on them directly, saying instead: ‘This is about the views and the policies of the United States of America, as directed by this administration.’

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