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    Dutch prime minister to visit White House next week

    WASHINGTON (AFP) – United States (US) President Joe Biden will receive Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the White House next Tuesday, the two leaders announced.

    Allies in the NATO defence alliance, the two leaders “will reaffirm our shared efforts to strengthen transatlantic security and economic prosperity”, a White House statement said on Thursday.

    It added that the pair would “discuss our steadfast support for Ukraine in the face of Russia’s brutal war of aggression”.

    The Netherlands will be among the host states this year for the “Democracy Summit” a diplomatic format initiated by President Biden.

    Slated for March 29-30, the summit will be chaired by President Biden along with the leaders of Costa Rica, the Netherlands, South Korea and Zambia.

    President Biden and Prime Minister Rutte also intend to talk about their “cooperation on strategic technologies and their shared vision of a free and secure Indo-Pacific region”, a phrase that refers to China’s efforts to expand its influence.

    The Dutch government said that “further cooperation in the field of defence and security will also be discussed, as well as the strengthening of bilateral trade relations”.

    Media reports say Biden, who received Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida yesterday, seeks to convince the Netherlands and Japan to adopt his hard line approach toward restricting the Chinese technology sector.

    In particular, he would like the two countries to ban, like the US, the export of sophisticated computer components and chip fabrication equipment to China.

    Netherland’s Prime Minister Mark Rutte, left, speaks with United States President Joe Biden during a round table meeting at a NATO summit in Madrid, Spain. PHOTO: AP
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