Dutch FM angry over mayor's foreign visit
Rotterdam mayor's discussion with the Moroccan foreign minister deemed 'foolish'.
The Hague – Foreign minister Maxime Verhagen expressed anger on Thursday over Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb's recent visit to Morocco.
During the meeting, Aboutaleb spoke to the Moroccan foreign minister about the restrictive list of names permitted by the Moroccan government.
The 'list of names' refers to names approved by the Moroccan government that immigrant parents in the Netherlands must give to their new-born children.
If children do not receive one of the approved names, they can face problems gaining Moroccan nationality, travelling and receiving inheritance within Morocco.
A number of Dutch city halls have kept copies of the list of names approved by the Moroccan government.
Aboutaleb has strongly objected to this policy. In March, he said he will burn any list of official Moroccan names he comes across in Rotterdam’s town hall.
Verhagen declared that it is not Aboutaleb’s responsibility to raise the issue with the Moroccan foreign minister. It is the responsibility of the justice minister and myself to address the matter, he continued, and added that Aboutaleb's actions were “exceptionally un-called for and foolish.”
Aboutaleb said he simply emphasised the Dutch government’s stance on the issue.
Radio Netherlands / Expatica