19 May 2014

Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans is to visit Saudi Arabia, following news that the country plans to take steps against the Netherlands such as excluding Dutch companies from participating in local projects and changing visa requirements. The economic sanctions are responses to the anti-Islam sticker parliamentarian Geert Wilders posted on his office door in December 2013, reading, “Islam is a lie, Mohammed is a criminal, the Koran is poison.” The sticker is a deliberate reference to the Saudi Arabian flag.

The Dutch government immediately condemned the action. Timmermans said at the time this sort of action is counterproductive. ‘Insulting their religion is not the way to combat extremism but plays into extremists’ hands,’ he said. ‘The Dutch government is distancing itself from this.’

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