Queen’s Oman visit to foster frigate order for Dutch shipyard

Monday 07 March 2011

The main reason behind queen Beatrix’ visit to Oman is a hoped-for €110m order from the Oman authorities for four frigates to fight piracy, the Volkskrant reports on Monday.

Last week, the official state visit and trade mission was postponed because of political unrest in the Gulf state.

However, it emerged later the queen and crown prince Willem-Alexander will still attend a private dinner hosted by sultan Qaboos bin Said a-Said on Tuesday.

The postponement of the official visit and accompanying trade mission is a blow to shipyard Damen Schelde which hopes to win the order, the paper says.


A Dutch navy frigate, built by the Dutch firm, had been due to anchor off the Oman capital Muscat and the queen should have hosted a reception on board, the paper claims.

Nevertheless, Dutch diplomats hope that a good relationship between the queen and sultan will still smooth the way for the deal to take place, the paper says.

‘We want to fit in to Damen Schelde’s strategy,’ said one foreign affairs ministry insider. ‘This cabinet is strong on economic diplomacy.’


The Netherlands has considerable economic interests in Oman, which has been ruled by the sultan for 40 years.

Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam PVV and government alliance partner, said on Sunday night the queen’s visit to the ‘abject’ sultan was ‘very stupid’.

Source: dutchnews.nl


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