Top Turkish, Dutch diplomats discuss regional, bilateral ties

9th Turkish-Dutch Bilateral Conference held in capital Ankara

Ali Murat Alhas   | 08.06.2022
Top Turkish, Dutch diplomats discuss regional, bilateral ties


Türkiye and the Netherlands enjoy deep-rooted relations for centuries and look forward to further developing their ties, the Turkish foreign minister said on Wednesday.

Mevlut Cavusoglu’s remarks came at a joint news conference with his Dutch counterpart Wopke Hoekstra in Ankara after the 9th Turkish-Dutch (Wittenburg) Bilateral Conference.

“We have exchanged views on regional developments, Ukraine, Russia, and Syria,” Cavusoglu said, adding that he also informed Hoekstra about his talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov earlier in the day.

The trade volume between the countries has increased to around $11 billion, but the goal of $20 billion is achievable, Cavusoglu said.

He added that up to a million Dutch tourists were expected in Türkiye this summer.

On Sweden and Finland's bids to join NATO, Cavusoglu said Türkiye expects concrete steps to meet its legitimate concerns.

Cavusoglu said Ankara was first expecting an official response from Helsinki and Stockholm, before a possibility of a trilateral meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

The rights and integration of some 500,000 Turkish people residing in the Netherlands were also one of the topics discussed, according to Cavusoglu, who said that their well-being was a mutual responsibility of both countries.

Dutch Minister Hoekstra, for his part, said officials of both sides got a chance to discuss various matters including opportunities in areas of security, migration, and economy.

He said the “turbulent geological times” disrupted the global order in the wake of the war in Ukraine, and the Netherlands welcomed Turkish efforts to “bring parties to the negotiation table."

In response to a question regarding the PKK terror group, the Dutch official said his country, along with the EU, designated it as a terrorist organization and the Netherlands would continue to cooperate with Türkiye in this regard.

Earlier, five working groups exchanged views on Turkish-EU relations, the Turkish-Dutch community, counter-terrorism, energy, and climate.

First established in March 2008, the conference aims at enhancing bilateral ties and cooperation. The last session was held virtually on Jan. 27, 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

‘Pleasure to meet Cavusoglu’

Separately, Hoekstra said it was a pleasure to meet Cavusoglu. “Pleasure to meet with Minister @MevlutCavusoglu of Türkiye in Ankara today. We reaffirmed the good 🇳🇱-🇹🇷 relationship and cooperation at the 9th #WittenburgConference. Several working groups discussed themes like energy, Türkiye-EU relations and the Turkish-Dutch community,” he said on Twitter.

"I spoke with @MevlutCavusoglu about trade, migration, security, human rights and the rule of law. We also discussed the war in Ukraine and the importance of resolving Finland and Sweden's NATO membership applications, before the NATO summit later this month. “

He also paid a visit to Anitkabir, the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Türkiye.

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