Published On: Mon, Mar 5th, 2018

The Kingdom has new Minister of Foreign Affairs

Stef-BlokTHE HAGUE - Stef Blok becomes the new Kingdom Minister of Foreign Affairs. He follows Halbe Zijlstra who stepped down two weeks ago after he had to admit to lying about a visit to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Foreign Affairs is a Kingdom affair, which is why the Minister also promotes the interests of Curaçao, Aruba and Sint Maarten abroad and on that account, for example, is responsible for the visa policy in the Caribbean parts of the Kingdom, but also for the (at the moment tense) relationship with neighboring Venezuela.

In the previous cabinet, the 53-year-old Blok was Minister for Housing and Civil Service and later Minister for Security and Justice. He is not known for an exaggerated affinity with the Caribbean. In 2011 he announced as party leader that the VVD would come up with an initiative law to raise a threshold for Dutch Caribbean citizens who wanted to settle in the European Netherlands, the so-called 'Bosmanwet'. In 2016, it was voted down by a majority of the Dutch parliament. In 2013, Blok paid a working visit to the six islands together with other party leaders. Two years ago he acted for several months as Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations to replace Ronald Plasterk.

Blok said goodbye to politics in The Hague in October to do something different. He will probably be sworn in on Friday.

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