US ends dispute, shifts fortified embassy
2 May 2005 , AMSTERDAM — The US embassy will be moved in 2010 from The Hague to Wassenaar to resolve a dispute over the security measures taken after the 11 September terrorist attacks.
2 May 2005
AMSTERDAM — The US embassy will be moved in 2010 from The Hague to Wassenaar to resolve a dispute over the security measures taken after the 11 September terrorist attacks.
The city council of The Hague said on Monday the US government has indicated it was willing to relocate the embassy to the Clingendael park area.
It also said the Dutch government has agreed to assist the move.
The full council of The Hague must still approve the relocation, as do the Wassenaar city council and the province of South Holland, news agency AFP reported.
Located on the Lange Voorhout in The Hague, the US embassy is protected by chain-link fences, barriers and mobile police observation posts. This has caused traffic problems and sparked disputes with inner-city residents.
"The heavy security measures taken since the attacks of 11 September 2001 disrupt and mar this part of the inner city," the city council said.
"These measures remain necessary until the relocation of the embassy, but it has been agreed with the US that improvised measures will create a better appearance."
A 3m high fence will be constructed around the embassy and anti-ram poles will be put in place. The present space needed for the security measures will remain unchanged.
Meanwhile, the Clingendael location is an area of parks and open spaces along the coast where construction is limited, raising the spectre of conflict over the US plans for an embassy that would cover 4ha.
The foundation Protect Clingendael has resisted the relocation of the embassy for some time. It previously warned last year The Hague was involved in "silent diplomacy" to finalise the relocation of the embassy.
The chosen location, a grassland area, is situated on the Wassenaarseweg between the office of the Dutch motorists association ANWB and the main entrance to the park.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news