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Netherlands resumes visa service in Pakistan after brief halt

ISLAMABAD: The Netherlands on Monday resumed visa and passport services in Pakistan following a brief suspension. On Friday the Dutch government said in a statement that its embassy in Pakistan, which is in a tightly guarded “diplomatic enclave”, had temporarily halted issuing visas “due to circumstances beyond our control”. On Monday evening, the embassy updated the statement: “The Netherlands embassy in Pakistan has resumed all consular/visa related services.” The Ambassador of Netherlands to Pakistan Ardi…

Dutch king and queen begin state visit to Britain

LONDON: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth hosts the King and Queen of the Netherlands at a banquet on Tuesday for the first UK state visit by Dutch monarchy for 36 years, during which they will visit the grave of the only Dutch king of England. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima were formally welcomed by the British queen with a Guard of Honor before taking a state carriage procession along the Mall in London to lunch at Buckingham Palace. In the afternoon, the Dutch royals will visit the grave of William III and Mary II…

Turkey searches Saudi Arabian consulate again

ISTANBUL: Turkey searched the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul for a second time overnight as part of a probe into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, while the French and Dutch finance ministers pulled out of a Riyadh investment summit amid global criticism of the kingdom. US President Donald Trump said he was awaiting a full report on what had happened to Khashoggi from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo after the envoy met with Saudi Arabian and Turkish leaders, and said he did not want to abandon his Saudi…

Dutch expulsion of alleged Russian spies a ‘misunderstanding’: Lavrov

MOSCOW: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday said the expulsion of four alleged Russian agents from the Netherlands in April had been a "misunderstanding", calling their visit a "routine trip". "There was nothing secret about the trip by our specialists to the Netherlands, it was a routine trip. They didn't hide when they checked into the hotel, or when they came to the airport, or when they went to our embassy," Lavrov said during a press conference. "They were detained without explanation... and asked to…

Lion cub found abandoned in Netherlands

THE HAGUE: Dutch police were on Sunday seeking the owners of a small lion cub found abandoned in a cage in a field outside the central city of Utrecht, police and news reports said. "Today (Sunday) we received quite an extraordinary message: 'a witness has found a mini-lion in a cage in a pasture'," local police said on their Facebook page. "When we arrived at the scene, we discovered a lion cub in a cage. It seems to have been abandoned," the police said, estimating the little feline to be about four months old.…

Sex abuse claims rock Dutch Catholic Church

AMSTERDAM: More than half of the Netherlands' senior clerics were involved in covering up sexual assault of children between 1945 and 2010, a press report claimed Saturday, further engulfing the Catholic Church in a global abuse scandal. Over the course of 65 years, 20 of 39 Dutch cardinals, bishops and their auxiliaries "covered up sexual abuse, allowing the perpetrators to cause many more victims", the daily NRC reported. "Four abused children and 16 others allowed the transfer of paedophile priests who could have…

Pakistan, Dutch govts pledge to work on issues of mutual interest

ISLAMABAD: The governments of Pakistan and the Netherlands have agreed to continue working together on issues of mutual interest, ARY News reported. Foreign Minister of the Netherlands Stef Blok on Friday reiterated his government's position of disassociation with avowed anti-Islamist politician Geert Wilders' activities and assured of continued cooperation. He said this in a telephonic conversation with Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi. This was the second telephonic conversation between the two foreign ministers…

Cancellation of Dutch caricature contest is moral victory: Qureshi

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said it was a great moral victory of the entire Muslim Ummah that the Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders cancelled plans to hold a contest of blasphemous caricatures. Wilders’ plan to hold the blasphemous event at his PVV party’s offices in parliament stirred extreme anger among the Muslims, particularly in Pakistan. Qureshi, in a media talk, said the new government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf immediately after coming into power raised the issue internationally…

Pakistan raises blasphemous caricatures issue with Netherlands

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Tuesday raised the issue of blasphemous caricatures with his Dutch counterpart Stef Blok. In a telephonic conversation, the foreign minister underscored that the abominable act of a Dutch parliamentarian is provoking and has hurt the sentiments of Muslims across the world. He said such acts spread hatred and intolerance. Addressing a news conference in Islamabad this evening, Qureshi said Pakistan has written letters to six countries of Organisation of Islamic…

Pakistan summons Dutch envoy over ‘blasphemous caricatures’

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Monday lodged its strong protest with the Government of Netherlands “on the announcement by leader of the Dutch Freedom Party and Parliamentarian Geert Wilders to hold a competition of blasphemous caricatures ”. “The Charge d’Affaires of the Kingdom of the Netherlands was summoned to the Foreign Office today and a strong protest was lodged…. Deep concern was conveyed at this deliberate and malicious attempt to defame Islam, a statement issued by foreign office here said. The Federal Cabinet, in…