Netherlands-Oman

Beatrix goes it alone

Published on 9 March 2011 at 12:01

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“Calm reception in Oman,” headlinesTrouw following the arrival of the Netherlands’ Queen Beatrix in Muscat (Oman) for a private dinner with Sultan Qaboos bin Said. In the wake of the last minute cancellation of a state visit scheduled for 2 March, which the Dutch parliament deemed inappropriate in view of the popular uprising in the country, the queen insisted on accepting a private invitation to Muscat — an initiative that is believed to have been undertaken in a bid to protect Dutch economic interests. According to the daily, Oman is currently interested in buying a number of frigates from the Netherlands. "[Mark] Rutte swears that the queen is not there to secure contracts," reports Trouw, which expresses doubts about the strictly private nature of the visit, and criticises the Prime Minister’s failure to recognise "the need for an alternative decision in the context of the Arab spring," which would have led him to postpone the queen’s trip.

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