Tuesday, 28 March 2017

King Willem-Alexander Thanks Argentina For "The Most Beautiful Possible Gift, My Wife"

King Willem-Alexander Thanks Argentina

Last evening, during the state dinner in honour of President Mauricio Macri of Argentina and his wife, Juliana Awada’s two-day state visit to the Netherlands, King Willem-Alexander thanked Argentina for Queen Máxima saying, “Argentina is a vibrant, passionate country. And the country, of course, that gave me the most precious of gifts: my wife, our Dutch Queen.”

He went on to say how the Dutch have been able to learn about Argentina through Máxima, “Through her, the Netherlands has got to know Argentina better and to appreciate its culture even more.”

Their Majesties with President Macri and his wife Juliana during the welcoming ceremony
Their Majesties with President Macri and his wife Juliana during the welcoming ceremony. Photo: Casa Rosada (CC 2.5 Argentina)

He praised Argentina’s gorgeous landscapes, hospitality, ambition and strength, “Argentina is a country that has always welcomed people from Europe and other parts of the world with open arms. A country that believes in the importance of ambition and development. I love Argentina’s hospitality. I love the asado, where you will often find me behind the parrilla. I love the creativity and ingenuity of the Argentinian people, which have been a source of strength to them in difficult times.”

He closed with a toast to President Macri and his wife by saying, “To your good health, Mr President and Ms Awada. And to the abiding friendship between la República Argentina and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.”

The state visit began yesterday with the laying of a wreath at the National Monument on Dam Square. Queen Máxima also took them to visit the Anne Frank House for a tour. While there, an agreement was signed between the Anne Frank House, the Argentine Ministry of Education and the Centro Ana Frank in Buenos Aires to further cooperation in the education of young people to end discrimination and violence.

President Macri and Juliana at the Anne Frank House
President Macri and Juliana at the Anne Frank House. Photo: Casa Rosada (CC 2.5 Argentina)

As a thank you, President Macri and Ms Awada were presented with a framed photo taken by Maria Austria from the Anne Frank House. Maria Austria took a series of images from the hideout where Frank and her family stayed until being discovered by the Gestapo and sent to concentration camps during World War II. Only Anne’s father, Otto survived the Holocaust. The Anne Frank House opened as a museum in 1960.

The day also included meeting back with King Willem-Alexander at the Business Forum in the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam. Furthermore, the group attended training of both Dutch and Argentinean hockey players, as well.

King Willem-Alexander Thanks Argentina For "The Most Beautiful Possible Gift, My Wife"
Photo: Casa Rosada (CC 2.5 Argentina)

Later today, President Macri will meet the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte and other government representatives. Meanwhile, Queen Máxima and Juliana Awada will visit the Mauritshuis museum where they will be given a “guided tour of Dutch masters of the 17th-century Golden Age, including works by Vermeer, Rembrandt and Paulus Potter,” according to the Royal House of the Netherlands. Their Majesties, President Macri and Ms Awada will join Prime Minister Rutte for lunch, as well.

The Queen will visit the Port of Rotterdam with the President and First Lady where they will take a boat trip through the Port of Rotterdam. During this time, they will listen to “experts and representatives of the business community will describe the various terminals and explain the new integrated logistics solutions provided by the port’s Maasvlakte terminals,” explained the Royal House.

The state visit will conclude this evening with a ballet performance at Theatre Diligentia in The Hague presented by President Macri.

This is not the first meeting for Queen Máxima and the President of Argentina. Last October, Her Majesty, who retained her Argentinean citizenship, travelled home to Argentina for the first time in her role as the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance. During her two-day trip, she was received at President Macri’s residence, Casa Rosada, where she held a meeting with the President and other government officials.

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