Koenders in Bangkok: minister offers condolences following death of Thai King
Foreign minister Bert Koenders, who is currently in Bangkok, has offered his condolences on behalf of the Netherlands to the Thai people following the death of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. ‘His Majesty was a highly respected, dearly loved monarch who reigned for 70 years. Throughout this time, the King was a symbol of unity among the Thai people and wielded a great deal of political influence behind the scenes,’ said Mr Koenders. The minister has been in Thailand’s capital Bangkok since Thursday for a meeting between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the European Union.
Mr Koenders noted that, under the King’s leadership, Thailand made great strides in terms of development and standard of living. His Majesty also acted as a major stabilising force in times of political unrest. ‘The days ahead are crucial, in terms of both the matter of succession and the wider political situation.’
Following the King’s death, there will be an extended period of mourning in which everyday life will be subject to a number of restrictions. Parties will be forbidden.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has since adjusted its travel advice for Thailand. Dutch nationals in the country should follow the instructions given by the local authorities and respect local customs and the restrictions to public life that have been put in place. These restrictions will be strictly enforced. The ministry wishes to stress that visitors should refrain from any criticism of the Thai royal family.
For Dutch nationals requiring help and advice, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ 24/7 Contact Centre is available on + 31 247 247 247 or on Twitter (@247BZ).