Obama to host Dutch PM on November 29

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US President Barack Obama will host Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte next week for talks that will focus on the eurozone debt crisis, the White House said Monday.

During the meeting in the Oval Office on November 29, the pair will also discuss their trade and investment ties, as well as preparations for next year's NATO summit in Chicago, White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

"The United States and the Netherlands have a close economic relationship that supports jobs in both countries," Carney said in a statement.

The Netherlands is the ninth largest destination for US exports, as well as the third largest direct investor in the United States, according to the White House.

The Netherlands is implementing tough austerity measures to keep its financial house in order, but has warned of a "difficult year" ahead with a loss in domestic spending and insecurity over stability within the eurozone.

The Dutch economy shrank 0.3 percent in the third quarter as compared with the three months to June -- the first such contraction since 2009, official data released earlier this month showed.

© 2011 AFP

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