TEMPO.CO, Bogor - Dutch King Willem-Alexander offered a public apology to Indonesia over past excessive violence committed by its colonial troops during years after Indonesia declared its independence on August 17, 1945.
The apology was made after a bilateral visit with President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo at Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java, Tuesday, March 10.
“In line with earlier statements by my government, I would like to express my regret and apologize for excessive violence on the part of the Dutch in those years,” said King Willem-Alexander.
He acknowledged the period as a painful separation. However, he said that these days the two countries have been able to grow closer and develop a new relationship based on respect, trust and friendship.
The king then congratulated Indonesian people for celebrating 75 years of independence this year, hoping the visit will have a wonderful and future-oriented program.
He said the stronger ties of both countries gave him great pleasure that was widely shared in the Netherlands as well.
“Many people in the Netherlands feel a deep connection with Indonesia. It’s gratifying that, in turn, a growing number of young Indonesians are showing interest in our country. We see that in the number of young men and women who come to the Netherlands to study,” the Dutch King added.
This becomes the first visit of the Dutch royals since 1995, which at that time King Willem-Alexander was still a royal prince.