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.