Turkey, Netherlands to re-appoint envoys soon, FM Çavuşoğlu says

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
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After a meeting with his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said Friday that Turkey and the Netherlands have decided to re-appoint ambassadors as part of an ongoing reconciliation period between the two countries.

Both ministers are in Vienna as part of the Gymnich meeting organized by term president Austria and attended by European Union member states and candidate countries.

Çavuşoğlu met with Blok and Irish Foreign and Trade Minister Simon Coveney on the sidelines of the meeting.

The foreign minister told reporters that various global issues and Turkey-EU relations were discussed in the Gymnich meeting.

Çavuşoğlu said that it was the first time he met with Blok since he took office and the meeting was very beneficial.

He later wrote on his official Twitter account that the two countries decided to appoint ambassadors as soon as possible and Blok will pay an official visit to Turkey in the beginning of October.

Regarding his meeting with Coveney, Çavuşoğlu also said that Turkey and Ireland had agreed to increase economic and trade relations as well as official visits.

The relations between Turkey and the Netherlands sharply deteriorated after Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was barred from entering the country and former Family and Social Policies Minister Fatma Betül Sayan Kaya, who had arrived from Germany, was barred from entering the Turkish consulate in Rotterdam and was deported after a brawl with the Dutch police.

The incident occurred shortly before the Dutch general elections on March 15, 2017, and the Turkish constitutional reform and presidential system referendum on April 16. Citing rising far-right sentiment in the country, the Dutch government said that Turkish officials will not be allowed to hold campaign rallies for the Turkish community in the country while several other European countries specifically barred the "yes" camp backed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) from holding campaign rallies on their territory.

Turkey withdrew its ambassador to The Hague after the incident, while Dutch Ambassador Cornelis Van Rij, who was recalled to the Netherlands for consultations after Ankara asked him not to return for a while, was not allowed back into Turkey. The Dutch Foreign Ministry finally withdrew the envoy in February.

On July 20, Turkey and the Netherlands decided to normalize bilateral relations and have restored full formal diplomatic ties.

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