Tuesday 16th August 2011
The Cook Islands and the Kingdom of the Netherlands this month established diplomatic relations through an exchange of notes by the respective Foreign Ministries. This followed upon advice through diplomatic channels that the Netherlands had recognised the Cook Islands as a sovereign, independent State.
“For some time now, the Cook Islands has been working to deepen cooperative and other ties with the Kingdom of the Netherlands and other members of the European Union and that process will continue. The Cook Islands welcomes the establishment of diplomatic relations with the Netherlands which will provide an excellent foundation for future cooperation between our two countries,” said the Hon Tom Marsters, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration.
The exchange of diplomatic notes between the two Governments includes approval for the appointment of Mr Arie Van der Wiel as Ambassador for the Netherlands to the Cook Islands, resident in Wellington. It is expected Ambassador Van der Wiel will visit in the coming months.
The Netherlands is a founding member of the EU and is an important contributor to the European Development Fund of which the Cook Islands has been a beneficiary since 2000. The Kingdom of the Netherlands encompasses a number of territories and countries including The Netherlands itself, Aruba, Curacao, and Sint Maarten and the special municipalities of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba.