PM cancels Saudi trip at King's request

3rd August 2005, Comments 0 comments

3 August 2005, AMSTERDAM — Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende will not be travelling to Saudi Arabia this week as previously reported, the government information service RVD said on Wednesday.

3 August 2005

AMSTERDAM — Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende will not be travelling to Saudi Arabia this week as previously reported, the government information service RVD said on Wednesday.

The decision comes as King Abdullah asked that the planned morning ceremony in the saudi capital Riyadh be cancelled. He took over the throne on the death of his half-brother King Fahd.

"We are investigating whether an official Dutch delegation on some level will go to Saudi Arabia later this week," the RVD said. It is unlikely the prime minister will be part of the delegation because he has a full agenda of other appointments. Foreign Minister Ben Bot is expected to travel to Riyadh.

There was considerable confusion early on Wednesday about whether Balkenende would be travelling to Saudi Arabia, as was announced on Tuesday.

The RVD first announced in the morning that the trip was being called off because the ceremony was not going ahead. Later there appeared to be signals from Riyadh that Balkenende and Bot could come.

The RVD confirmed at midday that the trip was definitely off.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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