Dutch Government Discussing the Future of Its Embassy in Jerusalem

The Dutch Cabinet, under increasing pressure at home and abroad to move its embassy in Israel from Jerusalem, is scheduled to discuss the matter tonight. However, no immediate decision is expected.

The Iraqi government has presented on official letter to the Dutch Ambassador in Baghdad demanding that the embassy be moved from Jerusalem “within one month” or Iraq will sever all diplomatic and economic ties with Holland. Iraq has only recently resumed relations with Holland and placed several large orders with Dutch companies.

Dutch companies have also been urging Holland to move its embassy, the only European embassy in Jerusalem. They point out that the Dutch trade with Arab countries for exceeds that with Israel and it provides many jobs for people in The Netherlands. Another point raised is that Holland is dependent on the Arab countries for oil.

The delay in the United Nations Security Council over a resolution urging the removal of all embassies in Jerusalem has made the situation more difficult for the Dutch government since it would have almost certainly implemented such a resolution.

The situation developing here, especially among the leftwing parties, is that although Holland should never yield to Arab pressure, there is no reason for it to suffer from what the Dutch view as Israel’s objectionable and unlawful decision to proclaim undivided Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Meanwhile, the departure of the new Dutch Ambassador to Israel, Iowan Verkode, has been postponed pending the outcome of the government’s deliberations on the future of Holland’s embassy in Jerusalem. He had been due to leave today for Israel.

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