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Jakarta Post

Dutch diplomacy

  • The Jakarta Post

  /   Fri, November 25 2016   /  09:11 am

Visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte managed a politically and historically sensitive issue smartly and sensibly during his bilateral meeting with his host President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo in Jakarta on Wednesday.

The prime minister achieved his goal without causing unnecessary uproar because he avoided the use of “megaphone” diplomacy and chose “quiet” but effective diplomacy.

Rutte appeared fully aware that the disappearance of six Dutch and British shipwrecks sunk during the Battle of the Java Sea during World War II was a delicate issue for both his country and its former colony Indonesia. Bilateral ties between the two countries remain positive despite several issues over the years.

In the early 1990s, Indonesia shocked The Hague with its decision to dissolve a Dutch-led international consortium to provide loans and grants for the country.