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15 months in, Turkey, Netherlands agree to normalise ties

Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu makes a speech during the Istanbul Forum for Arab Journalists in Istanbul, Turkey on May 12, 2018 [Fatih Aktaş / Anadolu Agency]
Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Istanbul, Turkey on 12 May 2018 [Fatih Aktaş / Anadolu Agency]

Turkey and the Netherlands have agreed to normalise ties, Turkey’s foreign ministry said today, restoring relations that have been strained since a 2017 diplomatic row.

The decision was reached in a phone call between Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his Dutch counterpart, Stef Blok, the foreign ministry said.

“During this telephone conversation, the ministers agreed to normalise diplomatic relations between the Netherlands and Turkey,” the ministry said in a statement. “To that extent, the ministers agreed to reinstate ambassadors in Ankara and The Hague shortly.”

The Dutch foreign minister also said in a letter to parliament ambassadors for both sides would be reinstated.

Read: Turkey’s Erdogan says Netherlands acting like a ‘banana republic’

The two governments fell out over the Netherlands’ decision to bar Turkish officials from campaigning among the Turkish diaspora before Turkey’s April 2017 constitutional referendum.

The Netherlands said it had formally withdrawn its ambassador to Ankara in February due to the row. Following that decision, Turkey said diplomatic relations would be maintained on the charge d’affaires level.

Cavusoglu said in an interview with private broadcaster NTV that Blok would visit Turkey within a couple of months.

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