Sunday, May 31, 2015

Willem-Alexander and Maxima in the US

After a successful state visit to Canada, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima off the Netherlands arrived today in Washington, D,C., for a four day official visit to the United States.

I am a part of the Dutch press contingent, reporting for the Dutch royal magazine, Royalty.

This evening the Dutch king and queen at the residence (2347 S Street, NW) of the Dutch Ambassador, Rudolf Bekink and his American wife, Gabrielle de Kuyper.

The guests at the dinner represented a variety of American think tanks and policy makers.

The Dutch press attended a briefing at the residence before the royal couple arrived.

Dutch Foreign Minister Koenders spoke to the guests before the dinner,  In his speech he discussed different aspects of foreign policy in the Netherlands.  But before delving into his speech, the Foreign Minister offered his condolences to Vice President Biden and his family on the death of Biden's son, and he also wished U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry good wishes, after Kerry broke his leg while cycling in Switzerland.

He touched on topics such as migrants from North Africa and the Middle East heading toward Europe and climate change. global inequality and poverty around the world.  He stressed the continued importance of the trans-Atlantic alliance, the European Union and the United Nations, and referenced the possible Grexit and Brexit concerns (Greece and UK leaving the European Union.).

He added that there needed to be an "existential debate" within Europe.  There must be "confidence building" and the use of military in Iraq and Syria must be backed with politics.

He stressed that the trans-Atlantic alliance is still a necessity to tackle problems.  The US and Europe have different strengths that work well together.

The themes of the evening where Economics and Trade, Energy and Climate Changes, Values/Internet Freedom/Cyber Security.


Carolyn Harris said...

Your photos of the King and Queen of the Netherlands are lovely - you are a very talented photographer as well as a historian. Interesting reading the details of the American portion of their travels. Always enjoy reading your posts.

Carolyn Harris

Marlene Eilers Koenig said...

thanks so much. Am happy with most of the photos.