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. 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.
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