Israel's Netanyahu begins visit to Netherlands

AP News
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Posted: Jan 18, 2012 1:15 PM
Israel's Netanyahu begins visit to Netherlands

Israel's prime minister has begun an official visit to the Netherlands with a stop at a synagogue in Amsterdam.

Benjamin Netanyahu's visit is the first by an Israeli prime minister to the Netherlands in 15 years, an apparent sign of appreciation for Dutch support in Europe.

The conservative Dutch government, which is propped up by an anti-Islam party, has taken a pro-Israel line, explicitly stating in its governing pact that the Netherlands "wishes to further invest in its ties with the state of Israel."

In September the Netherlands blocked the EU from adopting a common position seen as critical of Israel's human rights policies, and in October it was one of five European countries, along with Germany, that voted against Palestinian membership in UNESCO.