Dutch firms no longer welcome in KSA
Geert Wilders, the Dutch ultra-rightist MP involved in vicious attacks against Islam and Saudi Arabia. (AP)
Saudi Arabia has banned Dutch companies from participating in its future projects because the Dutch government has not taken action against the leader of the ultra rightist Freedom Party for abusing the Kingdom and Islam.
The Council of Saudi Chambers has reportedly received a letter in this respect from higher Saudi authorities urging them not to involve Dutch companies in local projects either directly or indirectly.
The government order also called for reducing the number of visas issued for Dutch businessmen and investors and limiting the period of visas, unless they are currently involved in vital projects.
Sources from the CSC confirmed that the government has instructed to halt the exchange of visits by delegations from both countries.
The move comes after the Saudi ambassador in Netherlands sent a letter to the foreign minister on the recent insult of Islam and Saudi Arabia by Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders.
Businessman Abdul Rahman Al-Rabeeah, president of the Saudi-Indian Business Council, welcomed the government’s decision. “Those who attack Islam and Saudi Arabia without any genuine reason are not welcome in the Kingdom,” he told Arab News. He said responsible governmental bodies in foreign countries must understand the consequences of such irresponsible behavior.
The CSC said the government’s decision would be circulated among all government bodies as well as chambers of commerce and industry, businessmen and businesswomen and commercial firms.
The Netherlands is one of the top 10 business partners of Saudi Arabia with two-way average annual trade volume reaching over SR25.3 billion. Until the end of 2008, Dutch investments in the Kingdom amounted to around $7.5 billion in over 119 investment projects.
Some Saudi companies responded quickly to the decision and stopped their dealings with Dutch firms.
In a recent statement, Wilders, who is a member of the Dutch Parliament, attacked the Saudi flag and said the Shahadah or the Islamic declaration of faith written on the flag must be replaced by the profanities he suggested.
He also blamed the Kingdom for the terrorist attacks that have taken place across the globe.