The Netherlands and Venezuela hold constructive talks

Venezuela will take a constructive stance in the dialogue with the Netherlands, the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. That is the conclusion of talks between Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen and his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro, which were held in Caracas on Friday. The Ministers agreed to continue their talks in September.

‘It is very important to maintain good relations with our biggest neighbour,’ said Mr Verhagen. 'I am pleased to say that our talks were open and constructive. From now on, Venezuela will make no more accusations, but will enter into dialogue to discuss any differences of opinion.’

Mr Verhagen underscored that there were absolutely no grounds for the Venezuelan allegations that its national airspace had been violated. The Kingdom of the Netherlands and Venezuela will have technical talks in the near future to prevent such misunderstandings arising again.

He pointed out that both Venezuela and the Netherlands benefit by rescue missions and efforts to counter drug trafficking. But that means that the navy and the coastguard must be able to do their job properly, including surveillance from the air.

Mr Verhagen told Mr Maduro that he found earlier Venezuelan statements about the status of the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba regrettable, and said that there can be no doubt whatever about the territorial integrity of the Kingdom.