Justice for MH17 and solidarity with Ukraine highlighted by Australia’s diplomatic ties with the Netherlands

By Melissa Coade

April 19, 2022

Mark Rutte-Scott Morrison
Prime minister of Netherlands Mark Rutte, left, and Scott Morrison (file image). (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

The Australian prime minister has reflected on the enduring ‘bonds of friendship and family’ on the 80th anniversary of official diplomatic relations with the Netherlands. 

“From the Duyfken’s exploration of the north coast of Australia in 1606, to the contribution made by generations of the thousands of men and women of Dutch heritage to this country, Australia and the Netherlands share enduring bonds of friendship and family,” Scott Morrison said in a statement published on Sunday.

The PM said the partnership between the countries spanned military efforts from WWII to Afghanistan. On more current geopolitical matters concerning Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, Australia and the Netherlands were united in support for the rules-based international order, he added.

“Today, we stand united in support of the rules-based international order, our defence of human rights and the rule of law,” Morrison said. 

“Australia values our cooperation with the Netherlands in supporting our neighbours in the Indo-Pacific, to ensure a region that is open, stable and resilient.

“We also stand together in supporting Ukraine as it defends its sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said. 

Efforts defending human rights and the rule of law were also mutual goals for both countries, Morrison said, noting the joint determination to hold Russia to account for its role in the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight (MH17) in 2014.

“For 80 years, Australia and the Netherlands have worked in unison to build and enhance our strong bilateral relationship. 

“I am proud of what we have achieved in the name of friendship and cooperation, and I look forward to the many opportunities that lie ahead,” Morrison said of Australia and the Netherlands’ warm friendship.

The PM added both nations were focused on mutual economic prosperity and stability by growing engagement in international forums.

“The strong trade relationship between Australia and the Netherlands is the foundation for our collaboration in other areas, such as the green economy and cyber security,” he said.


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