Indonesian ambassadors comments cause Dutch row

23rd September 2010, Comments 0 comments


Comments about the Dutch anti-Islamic Freedom Party PVV made by the Indonesian ambassador to the Netherlands have caused a diplomatic row.

In an interview with Dutch daily the , Ambassador Yunus Effendi Habibie said it was extremely doubtful that the planned state visit of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to the Netherlands would go ahead were the PVV to join the new Dutch government.

He went on to say that members of the Dutch electorate who voted for the PVV, which is led by populist politician Geert Wilders, may be suffering from anxiety psychoses.

Ambassador Habibie later told Radio Netherlands Worldwide that he had been misquoted and that President Yudhoyono would keep his word and visit the Netherlands. However he added that if Mr Wilders were in government, the state visit would be a less pleasant affair.

Mr Wilders called for Mr Habibie to be summoned by caretaker Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen, who said the terms used by the ambassador to describe PVV voters were ill advised.

Mr Habibie has told a senior foreign ministry official that it would have been better not to talk about Dutch voters in the way he did. Mr Verhagen, meanwhile, has agreed that the ambassador has every right to make clear the worries felt by Indonesia about the image of Islam put forward by the PVV.



© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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