PM impatient over Curacao diplomatic links

2nd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

2 February 2005, AMSTERDAM — Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has urged the Curacao island government to take a speedy decision over its future diplomatic ties to the Netherlands as the Antillean island contemplates autonomous rule.

2 February 2005

AMSTERDAM — Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has urged the Curacao island government to take a speedy decision over its future diplomatic ties to the Netherlands as the Antillean island contemplates autonomous rule.

But the island's first female governor, Lizanne Richards Dindial, said the local authorities are working hard to reach a conclusion. Her comments came after Curacao did not attend a conference for all Antillean islands last week over the future diplomatic relationship between the former colony and the Netherlands.

Balkenende was shocked at Curacao's absence from the conference. He said that the other four islands had formulated a clear response and Curacao — as the Netherlands Antilles largest island — needs to make its position clear

"It is unwise to bury you head in the sand and not take part in the discussion," he said.

A referendum will be held on Curacao on 8 April over the island's future within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Curacao's political parties are pressing for the island to be granted a status apart, similar to that enjoyed by Aruba, which is a separate, autonomous member of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

During a five-day visit to the Antilles and Aruba, Balkenende urged Curacao to quickly make clear its stance regarding future links, news service NOS reported on Wednesday.

Interference by a Dutch leader in internal Antillean affairs is noteworthy, especially when it comes to sensitive issues such as diplomatic ties. Curacao governor Richards Dindial was quick to inform Balkenende that administrative reform is not the responsibility of the Dutch prime minister.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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