Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Queen Beatrix in Oman for a private visit

Protests in the Sultanate of Oman could not deter Queen Beatrix, Crown Prince Willem-Alexander and his wife Maxima to go pay a visit to Sultan Qaboos bin Said despite criticism from the Dutch parliament.

The Dutch Monarch arrived Tuesday afternoon and was greeted by Vice Premier Fahid bin Mahmoud al Said and Culture and Heritage Minister Haitham bin Tariq al Said and were driven to the royal palace at Bait al Barak to meet the Sultan for dinner.

NOS correspondent Marieke de Vries, reporting from Oman:

Protests led to the Queen Beatrix’s official state visit being postponed and downgraded to a private dinner. The decision to go ahead with the arrangement was made to safeguard a major defence contract, reported on Monday. Oman has placed an order worth hundreds of millions of euros with Dutch shipyard Damen Schelde for the construction of four naval vessels.

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