Canada and the Netherlands have agreed to step up cooperation in various areas, both political and economic. This was the main outcome of a meeting in Ottawa between foreign minister Uri Rosenthal and his Canadian counterpart John Baird.
The Netherlands will support Canada in concluding the CETA free trade agreement with the EU. After the United Kingdom, the Netherlands is Canada’s largest export market in the EU, while the Netherlands is the second-largest foreign investor in Canada, after the United States.
The two countries will collaborate more closely on various political issues, including the Middle East and Iran, and in defending the freedom of religion and belief. With regard to the latter, Canada and the Netherlands will jointly organise an event on freedom of religion in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York in September.
Canada has joined a Dutch-led working group in the Community of Democracies, which aims to support the process of transition to democracy in Tunisia. Canada will also participate in the Digital Defenders Partnership launched by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and Uri Rosenthal. Canada is already a member of the Freedom Online Coalition, initiated by Uri Rosenthal in December 2011.
Canada will also work with the Netherlands in preparing for the Nuclear Security Summit being hosted by the Netherlands in 2014, where government leaders and ministers from around the world will negotiate new agreements on combating nuclear terrorism and trafficking in radioactive material.
At the University of Ottawa, Mr Rosenthal delivered a speech on the values shared by Canada and the Netherlands: freedom, international security and free trade.