I would like to express and repeat regrets and apologies for the excessive violence on the part of the Dutch in those years
Bogor, W Java (ANTARA) - Dutch King Willem Alexander has apologized for excessive violence used during the Netherlands' colonial past in Indonesia.

"In line with earlier statements by my government, I would like to express and repeat regrets and apologies for the excessive violence on the part of the Dutch in those years," the King said during a joint press conference with Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the Bogor Palace in Bogor, West Java, on Tuesday.

Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima Zorreguieta Cerruti are in the midst of a four-day state visit to Indonesia from March 9 to 13. Among their entourage is a large group of businessmen.

Willem-Alexander said in the years immediately after the declaration of independence (Proklamasi), a painful separation followed that cost many lives.

"I do so in the full realization that the pain and sorrow of the families affected continues to be felt today," he said.

Willem-Alexander noted that it has been 75 years since Indonesia issued its Proklamasi, claiming its place among independent and free states.

Related news: 130 Dutch companies, institutions join royal couple's visit

Related news: King Willem-Alexander, Queen Maxima to visit in March

"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," he said.

According to the King, 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 upon 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," he added.

The Dutch King said that in the days ahead they will be visiting various examples of bilateral partnerships, and he is looking forward to it.

"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," he said.


Related news: Dutch Trade Minister calls for augmenting sustainable palm oil program

Related news: Dutch investors eye investment, economic cooperation with Indonesia

Translator: Hanni Sofia, Sri Haryati
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2020