Friendly Relations Restored Between Holland and Iraq

– Friendly relations have been restored between Holland and Iraq just a year after the Iraqis severed them to protest the holding of a tripartite Israeli-Egyptian-American meeting in The Hague. This was accomplished by Foreign Minister Christoph van der Klaauw who visited Baghdad last week in his capacity as chairman of the Council of Ministers of the European Economic Community (EEC).

The rift occurred Feb. 23, 1980 when the Iraqis abruptly cancelled a visit by van der Klaauw who was on his way to Schipol Airport to emplane for Baghdad. The Dutch government explained at the time that The Hague meeting in no way implied Dutch support for the Camp David agreements and that any parties have the right to hold lawful meeting in Holland. Iraq, one of the most vociferous of the Arab rejectionist states, did not accept the explanation.

Van der Klaauw reportedly reiterated his explanation in Baghdad. The Iraq government announced that it considers the matter closed and renewed its invitation to the Dutch diplomat to visit the country in his capacity of Foreign Minister. But van der Klaauw’s schedule does not permit him to make the trip before the Dutch Parliamentary elections on May 25, after which it is not certain that he still will be Foreign Minister.

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