Kingdom drafts diplomatic statement on Venezuela


THE HAGUE–The Governments of the Dutch Kingdom, on Tuesday, drafted a diplomatic statement in which the unilateral decision of the Venezuela Government to close the borders with Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire per January 5, 2018 was denounced.

  In the declaration, which was dispatched to Caracas, the Kingdom called on the Venezuelan authorities to give its formal consent to the agreement that was made during talks in Aruba on January 12, 2018 so the borders between the countries can be reopened and the smuggling, which was the reason for the closure of the border, can be tackled jointly in an effective manner.

  The closure of the borders and the allegations of the Venezuela Government that extensive smuggling of illegal goods was taking place through the islands was reason to hold a summit in Aruba on January 12. During these high-level talks, representatives of the Kingdom and Venezuela amply discussed a joint approach to tackle border-transgressing crime including smuggling.    

  According to the diplomatic declaration these talks, which were deemed as “constructive,” it was agreed to tackle the smuggling through, among other things, the intensifying of the cooperation by the various Customs services. 

  “The Kingdom has already started the implementation of some of the measures that have to prevent the smuggling. It is in the interest of the Kingdom and Venezuela that the relations between the two neighbouring countries quickly normalise. This fits in the close historic and cultural ties that exist between the people of Venezuela and the overseas countries and territories of the Kingdom,” it was stated.

  Meanwhile, Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Halbe Zijlstra announced on Tuesday that new consultations will be started with Venezuela. He said that these talks were necessary because the Venezuela Government has linked the sanctions of the European Union (EU) against seven top ranking persons of the South America country to the closing of the borders with Aruba, Curaçao and Bonaire.

  The Minister lamented the fact that Venezuela has linked Monday’s EU sanctions to the border closure. “These are two completely separate issues, that is why we will now look at next steps,” he said.

  Zijlstra said it was important to ensure that the residents of the islands were supplied with sufficient fresh fruits and vegetables and other necessities from Venezuela.

Source: The Daily Herald