Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte started today his visit in Sofia, and expressed his support for Bulgaria to join the Schengen Area, but added that the country needs more work to achieve this aim. Netherlands is one of the most insisting opponent countries for Bulgaria and Romania to join the Schengen Area. Borissov told that he believes “we will persuade the Dutch parliament to support us about Schengen”.
The Netherlands on Monday formally withdrew its ambassador to Turkey over a 2017 row and the talks between two countries are suspended. Relations between the two countries are under pressure since April 16 presidential referendum in Turkey, when Dutch authorities canceled the flight permit of a plane carrying Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on March 11. The Dutch government also expelled Family and Social Affairs Minister Fatma Betul Sayan Kaya from Rotterdam, blocking her from addressing the Turkish community in the Netherlands ahead of the referendum. Dutch Foreign Ministry Zijlstra in a statement said: “The Netherlands and Turkey have recently held talks at various levels. At this stage, these talks do not yet offer a perspective to normalizing the bilateral relations”. A Dutch diplomat told the Hürriyet Daily News in Ankara that the two parties “could not find the mutual concession balance in the negotiations”, expressing disappointment at the development, which goes against the two countries’ “400-year history of friendship”. The diplomat underlined that the Dutch government’s decision to withdraw the ambassador from Turkey was about reassign him to a new post, as he has not been able to return to his duties in Ankara.