Ambassadors in Suriname and the Netherlands within three months

The Netherlands and Surinam want to exchange ambassadors again before November 25th. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Blok and Ramdin, announced this after a meeting in Voorburg. On November 25th it will be 45 years since Suriname became independent of the Netherlands

It is the first visit of a member of the Surinamese government to the Netherlands in ten years. The countries had a difficult relationship for years.

Bouterse

This was mainly due to criticism in the Netherlands of former President Bouterse. He was found guilty of drug smuggling in the Netherlands by the court and at the end of last year, after a lengthy trial in Suriname, he was convicted for his part in the December murders of 1982. Conversely, Suriname felt that the Netherlands was interfering too much in internal Surinamese affairs.

In May, Chan Santokhi’s VHP won the elections and Bouterse’s NDP lost a lot. Santokhi succeeded Bouterse as president last month. The Surinamese government has already announced several times that it wants to re-establish ties with the Netherlands. Blok and Ramdin also said earlier that they want to exchange ambassadors again.

Corona crisis

Blok further announced after the meeting that the Netherlands will help Suriname with an extra 3.5 million euros to fight the corona crisis and that the Netherlands also wants to assist the country “with knowledge and skills” to improve the economic situation. The two countries will also cooperate more intensively in the field of justice and security and the fight against drug trafficking.

Dutch investors

Ramdin added that the financial situation in Suriname is “tremendously bad”, and that a lot of efforts are needed, apart from the corona crisis, to achieve “a normal economy and a normal society”. He further said to look forward to the arrival of Dutch investors in Suriname.

On the question of whether there was still talk about Blok’s statements in 2018, in which he called Suriname a “failed state”, Blok said that everything about this had already been said two years ago and that it has not been said now. Blok apologized at the time and Suriname accepted. Ramdin also said “that he is not interested in a new debate”