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State secretary asks to postpone debate

Pending her visit to the six Dutch Carib­bean islands, new State Sec­retary of Kingdom Relations and Digitisation Alexandra van Huffelen has asked the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament to post­pone a meeting scheduled for February 23.

Van Huffelen sent a letter to the Second Chamber’s Per­manent Committee for King­dom Relations on Monday in which she “kindly asked” to postpone the committee debate in order to facilitate an introductory visit to the islands.

“I plan to visit all islands as soon as possible to person­ally get acquainted with the residents and government of­ficials of the Caribbean part of our Kingdom. The first possibility to do so is in Feb­ruary,” stated Van Huffelen, who noted that she would share her experiences of visiting the islands when the February 23 meeting took place at a later date.

It is expected that the Com­mittee will approve the re­quest for postponement. This is the second time that the committee debate, with policies and developments regarding the Caribbean Netherlands islands Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba on the agenda, will be delayed.

During a procedural meet­ing of the Committee two weeks ago, it was decided to move the debate from Janu­ary to February. Last year, the debate was deferred as well due to political develop­ments and the Dutch forma­tion talks.

Member of the Second Chamber Jorien Wuite of the Democratic Party D66 warned earlier that it was not wise to keep putting off this debate because it would send the wrong signal to the islands.

The March 10 debate of the Committee with the new state secretary to discuss de­velopments in Aruba, Cura­cao and St. Maarten is still on. It is not known as yet when exactly Van Huffelen and her delegation will visit the islands, but it will be af­ter the February 4 meeting of the Kingdom Council of Ministers.

The Daily Herald.

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