Published On: Fri, May 31st, 2013

Dutch Minister Timmermans heading for Venezuela

Frans TimmermansTHE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD – Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frans Timmermans brings early next week a one-day visit to Venezuela. He will travel to the largest neighbor of our kingdom along with the Prime Ministers of Curaçao and Aruba.

“ The relationship is good, but we hardly speak to each other,” said Timmermans.

“The key is to find a structure for a conversation, that we often speak to each other and exchange data.” There will be an agreement signed to strengthen the ties.

Economic relationship

He also wants to strengthen the economic relationship. Venezuela is located in a region that is experiencing tremendous growth. “There is great economic potential.”

The Minister thinks especially in the energy sector. The country is a major oil producer. On Curaçao,  the state oil company leases a large refinery.


The relationship with the South American country has seen quite a few bumps in recent years. The late President Hugo Chávez accused the Netherlands in 2009 of preparing an attack against Venezuela together with the U.S.

The populist leftist president once gave the impression that he was interested in the Antilles. The conversation will not be about bout the latter according to Timmermans. “Venezuela respects the territorial integrity of the kingdom and I don’t hear any concerns about this issue.”

Positive role

In the past two years the relationship returned back to normal. The trip to Venezuela is a “new beginning”. Timmermans has the impression that “Venezuela really has the ambition to play a positive role in the region”. '' I think that the sharp edges will fall out”.

Timmermans will meet with his counterpart, Elias Jaua, in Caracas. A meeting with the newly elected President Nicolás Maduro is not on the agenda.


The Minister will pay a working visit to Aruba, Curacao and St. Maarten.

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