Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (4 June) prior to his departure for The Hague:
After nearly three months without flying abroad, I will be visiting The Hague at the invitation of my colleague Stef Blok. Naturally, the programme for the visit will be limited, and it will include only essential stops. But at the end of the day, having a personal exchange in confidence is what makes diplomacy interesting and is something we cannot do without in the long run. This even applies to partners and friends who are as close as Germany and the Netherlands.
Our talks will focus on close European cooperation in a spirit of solidarity. Our common aim is to open borders, as well as to bring about economic recovery in the European Union. The pandemic has inflicted deep wounds throughout the EU, in terms of health and the economy. The programme for economic recovery put forward by the European Commission includes important elements of the Franco‑German proposal. In The Hague, we also want to have a frank discussion about questions the Netherlands have. Because we will only emerge from this crisis in good shape by acting together. We, too, believe that the recovery fund must be temporary and targeted, and that national parliaments must be involved.
After our bilateral exchange, we will have another first: together with Stef Blok, I will participate in a virtual Foreign Ministers meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Small Group, at the Dutch Foreign Ministry.