Baird Welcomes Dutch Counterpart, A Key Friend and Ally of Canada

May 18, 2012 - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today reaffirmed Canada’s close and long-standing relationship with the Netherlands, a key friend and ally, following a bilateral meeting with Uri Rosenthal, the Netherlands’ Foreign Affairs Minister.

The two ministers had an in-depth, productive exchange of views on Canada-Netherlands relations and major international issues, including: the situations in the Middle East and North Africa; the upcoming 25th NATO Summit in Chicago; and, the economic situation in Europe.

As mature democracies, Canada and the Netherlands share a number of international priorities, including the promotion of freedom, democracy, human rights and the rule of law. To further these goals, the ministers announced that they will jointly host an event on freedom of religion on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City this September.

The Netherlands will host the third Nuclear Security Summit in 2014, and Canada welcomes the opportunity to work with the Netherlands in preparing for this summit. To that end, Minister Baird announced that Canada will host a Nuclear Security Summit sherpa meeting in advance of the summit.

In light of the close ties between the two countries, the ministers announced that their respective departments have agreed to a short-term exchange of diplomats to share best practices and learn from each other’s experiences.

The meeting between the two ministers coincides with this year’s Canadian Tulip Festival and began with a preview of the upcoming exhibition of work by Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh, at the National Gallery of Canada. “Van Gogh Up Close” will run from May 24 to September 3, 2012, in Ottawa.

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