It is a great honour for my wife and me to be your guests. In recent years we have got to know each other well. We see this state visit as an affirmation of the close bond that has grown between us. And we look forward to making the bond with you and your country even stronger. (...)
Mr President, on 17 August it will be 75 years since Indonesia issued its Proklamasi, claiming its place among independent and free states. The Dutch government explicitly acknowledged this fact, both politically and morally, 15 years ago.
Today we warmly congratulate the people of Indonesia as you celebrate 75 years of independence.
We are looking forward to the coming days. Our visit has a wonderful, future-oriented programme.
At the same time, it is a good thing that we continue to face up to our past. The past cannot be erased, and will have to be acknowledged by each generation in turn.
In the years immediately after the Proklamasi, a painful separation followed that cost many lives.
In line with earlier statements by my government, I would like to express my regret and apologise for excessive violence on the part of the Dutch in those years. I do so in the full realisation that the pain and sorrow of the families affected continue to be felt today.
It is a hopeful and encouraging sign that countries which were once on opposite sides have been able to grow closer and develop a new relationship based on respect, trust and friendship. The ties between us are becoming ever stronger and more diverse. That gives me great pleasure. And I know that this feeling is widely shared in the Netherlands.
Many people in the Netherlands feel a deep connection with Indonesia. It’s gratifying that, in turn, a growing number of young Indonesians are showing interest in our country.
We see that in the number of young men and women who come to the Netherlands to study. We see it above all in the close working relationships between our two countries in the fields of science, the economy, water management, nature protection and climate. (...)
Royal House of the Netherlands
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