Balkenende to meet Obama in Washington

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Climate change, the financial crisis and Guantanamo Bay are considered to be priorities for the two leaders.

Washington, DC – Dutch prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende travelled to Washington this week for a meeting with US president Barack Obama Tuesday.

Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen will also attend Tuesday's meeting.

Climate change, the financial crisis and Guantánamo Bay are considered to be priorities for the meeting.

In recent decades, the Dutch have bridged the gap between the big powers and the smaller countries. The Amsterdam stock exchange ranks within the top ten of the world’s main financial markets.

Dutch support could help Mr Obama play global leadership role in determining financial and climate change policies.

Guantánamo Bay, the controversial US military base in Cuba, will also be an important topic for the US president.

Mr Obama announced on the first day of his presidency that he will close the prison. However, the US hasn’t been able to persuade many countries to take in the terrorist suspects released from Guantánamo.

The Netherlands has refused, but Mr Balkenende has said that there is room for discussion.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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