Saudi Government Refuses to Issue Visa to Dutch-israeli Reporter

The Saudi Arabian government has refused to issue a visa to Dutch-Israeli journalist Jaap van Wesel for Dutch Foreign Minister Max van der Stoel’s March visit to Saudi Arabia. Van Wesel, the Israeli correspondent of the Dutch Progressive weekly “Vrij Nederland,” has been a resident of Jerusalem for several years, but has preserved his Dutch nationality.

Van Wesel’s initial visa request was refused, officially because only eight major journalists were to accompany the official Dutch party. “Vrij Nederland” suggested that van Wesel travel privately to Riyad and the visa request was made by the newspaper. Van Wesel’s place of residence was not mentioned in the visa request. This second request, which was also refused, triggered an official protest by “Vrij Nederland” at the highest levels.

Dutch Premier Johan den Uyl and Foreign Minister van der Stoel, informed of the situation, have both declared that they would not tolerate any anti-Jewish discrimination against Dutch citizens. The Netherlands Federation of Journalists demanded that van der Stoel cancel his visit if the visa is not issued.

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