Obama promises Netherlands bigger role at G20
US President Barack Obama has promised Dutch Crown Prince Willem-Alexander he will lobby for a more permanent role for the Netherlands in the G20.The Netherlands is currently not a permanent member of the G20, the meeting of 19 of the world's largest economies plus the European Union, although it was invited to join the last few meetings.
President Obama also invited the Dutch to join the next G20 meeting in Pittsburgh later this month.
But The Hague has been lobbying for a more permanent role in the G20.
During a meeting with Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and princess Máxima at the White House on Friday, Obama assured the Dutch royals that he is in favour of a bigger role for the Netherlands.
"The president has indicated that our input is considered very valuable," Prince Willem-Alexander said at a press conference in New York on Sunday. "He said he is absolutely in favour of keeping the Netherlands involved in the G20."
According to the prince, President Obama also spoke approvingly of the Dutch health care system and of the Dutch presence in Afghanistan.
They interrupted their New York stay on Friday to visit the Obamas at the White House.
The Dutch government has invested around six million euros in NY400, the commemoration of 400 years of Dutch-American relations.
Part of Governor's Island in New York was taken over by Dutch artists for a festival that will last until next weekend.
The Netherlands has been criticised for ignoring the original inhabitants of what would become New Amsterdam and later New York City, the Native Americans.
Prince Willem-Alexander addressed that criticism by pointing out that representatives of the Native American community were invited to the opening ceremony last week on board the USS Intrepid, a decommissioned aircraft carrier permanently docked on the west side of Manhattan.