Dutch PM: Oman state visit still on
Prime Minister Mark Rutte says Queen Beatrix’ state visit to Oman in January can go ahead. He insists the situation there is stable enough for the queen to make the trip.
The state visit was postponed last March because of unrest in Oman. Mr Rutte says he understands the doubts expressed by MPs about the wisdom of the visit. However, he argues that Oman is introducing reforms which will guarantee stability. He also points out that recent elections have been held there.
He denies that trade interests were the deciding factor in deliberations on whether or not the visit should go ahead. He points out that the Netherlands does business with countries throughout the world and “not just with full-grown democracies such as the Netherlands”.
If the Netherlands does not like the human rights situation in a country, the subject will be on the agenda during a visit, according to the prime minister. “It’s important to have just this sort of contact and to try to bring up all the difficult issues,” he says.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide