Dutch queen criticized for Saudi prince meeting

This 20 June 2019 video says about itself:

Khashoggi killing: UN report demands investigation into Saudi Prince Bin Salman | DW News

A new report by UN human rights expert Agnes Callamard looking into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has recommended an investigation into the possible role of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). Jamal Khashoggi was killed in October last year at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in Turkey. Now Agnes Callamard says there must be a follow-up criminal investigation into any role Crown Prince bin Salman may have played.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

‘UN rapporteur expresses strong criticism after meeting of [Dutch Queen] Máxima with Saudi crown prince

The UN rapporteur investigating the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has strongly criticized the meeting between Queen Máxima and Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. To [Dutch daily] Algemeen Dagblad, UN rapporteur Agnes Callamard accuses the queen of complicity by not discussing the Khashoggi case with the prince.

This tweet is about that meeting at the Osaka G20 summit between Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS) of Saudi Arabia and Dutch Queen Máxima, born in Argentina, the daughter of a dictatorship minister.

The sarcastic caption says, translated:

MBS: How did they disappear people in Argentina? Máxima: They were thrown from helicopters. MBS: Oh, we use bone saws.

Queen Máxima spoke to Mohammed bin Salman during the G20 summit in Japan. The two discussed, eg, improving the economic position of women in Saudi Arabia.

Dear Queen Maxima: before the Saudi women activists who made driving cars for women possible can even think of improving their economic position, then first: 1. The crown prince regime’s torturers will have to stop torturing them. 2. They will have to be freed from death row in prison. 3. The threat of them getting the death penalty by beheading for so-called ‘terrorism’ has to stop.

The murder of Khashoggi has not been discussed, the Dutch Government Information Service said earlier. The journalist was killed last year in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Callamard tells the AD that she finds it incomprehensible that Máxima did not raise the issue. “It is one thing to meet this man, it is something else to remain silent. At this point, silence equals complicity.”

Earlier this week a UN report appeared that there is convincing evidence that the prince is involved in the murder of the journalist. Callamard wants an international investigation to be launched into Mohammed bin Salman. She also called on countries to have sanctions against Saudi Arabia and the crown prince.

Callamard is clear about not raising the case. “If you do not speak and do not demand justice, it suggests that you have no scruples. Silence, turning a blind eye, a ‘business as usual approach’ towards the increasingly aggressive tactics of too many autocrats: those are not the characteristics of leadership that we should expect.”

Ministry informed

Máxima was at the Osaka Summit as a special United Nations advocate for inclusive financing. The conversation with the crown prince was primarily intended as preparatory work for the next G20 in Saudi Arabia, next November.

When asked about the story in the AD, Callamard informed Nieuwsuur TV news that people in high positions with moral or political authority should not close their eyes to injustice, abuse of power, war crimes or other matters. “Because of the power and influence they have, they have to use their voice where others cannot.”

“Criticism on the rise”

“The criticism of the meeting of the queen with the crown prince is growing even more with this”, says Royal House reporter Kysia Hekster. “Máxima’s UN job must be neutral, but she has now ended up in political waters. That is detrimental to her position.”

A spokesperson for Foreign Affairs says the ministry was aware of the meeting between the queen and the prince. “That is usual with international performances by members of the Royal Family.”

Last October, Minister Hoekstra and Minister Kaag canceled their visits to Saudi Arabia because of the murder of Khashoggi. Dutch King Willem-Alexander called his death “a very serious matter”.

Astonishment in parliament

The House of Representatives was surprised by the meeting yesterday. “Anyone who approved this conversation between Queen Máxima and the Saudi crown prince, doesn’t understand anything about diplomacy and even less about optics,” writes MP Sjoerdsma of [government coalition party] D66.

Socialist Party Member of Parliament Karabulut wonders what the purpose of the conversation was. “Is it really true that she did not talk about the murder of journalist Khashoggi? Incomprehensible”, she writes on Twitter.

On Monday, the Lower House will hold a previously planned consultation on human rights policy. D66, GroenLinks and SP announce that they will discuss Queen Máxima’s conversation with the Saudi crown prince there.

Queen Máxima also had a private talk with Donald Trump. This tweet shows Queen Máxima with Trump, his daughter Ivanka, etc.

According to Saudi media, the crown prince had ‘spoken with the Dutch queen about cooperation between both kingdoms.’

Queen Máxima should be ashamed about this: here.

Platitudes at the G20 can’t mask a world on the brink of war: here.

14 thoughts on “Dutch queen criticized for Saudi prince meeting

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