THE HAGUE: Noting that the Netherlands is home to one of the largest Indian diasporas in Europe, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has said that he was proud of their achievements and contributions to the society.
In a letter to India's Ambassador to the Netherlands Venu Rajamony, who completes his term this month, the prime minister cited the seven-decade-long Indo-Dutch bilateral relations and said that both the countries were working together closely on different fields including water, agriculture and renewable energy.
"The Netherlands and India share a bilateral relationship going back 70 years and the Netherlands is home to one of the largest Indian diasporas in Europe. We are proud of their achievements and their contributions to our society," Rutte said in the letter dated November 20.
He said that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Netherlands is shifting to digital trade delegations, where the focus will be on water and agriculture as part of the nexus with health, as well as on renewable energy.
"We are working together closely in other fields as well, including as members of the Human Rights Council and the International Solar Alliance. I am confident that your own relationship with the Netherlands will not end with your posting and that you will continue to contribute to Dutch-Indian friendship, perhaps by way of some cycling-related diplomacy," Rutte said in the letter, a rare gesture by the Dutch Prime Minister.
Rajamony recently did a farewell cycling tour of the Hague with Mayor Jan van Zanen, Member of Parliament Sven Koopmans and former Deputy Mayor Rabin Baldewsingh. A career diplomat, Rajamony has been working as India's Ambassador to the Netherlands since June, 2017.
He is also the Permanent Representative of India to the Organisation for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague as well as responsible for India's relations with the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration. Rajamony is due to superannuate on November 30 after over three decades of diplomatic career.
In the letter, Rutte said he was delighted to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Netherlands in 2017 and "have fond memories of my visits to Hyderabad House in 2015 and 2018". The state visit to India in 2019 was also accompanied by the country's largest ever outgoing trade delegations, he added.