Odd news from the United Nations this week: A recently convened panel of international experts and career diplomats have issued a remarkable joint statement, concluding: "Canada and the Netherlands are so cute together!"
We're kidding about the joint statement, but the two countries actually do enjoy a uniquely close relationship. From the U.S. perspective, it's like having two good friends hit it off and get married. Everybody wins! Jules Suzdaltsev explains in today's Seeker Daily report.
Canada and the Netherlands have a similar international profile. Both are parliamentary democracies with a strong tradition of supporting progressive causes like universal health care, environmental conservation and same-sex marriage. The countries also share some intriguing history.
In 1940, Germany invaded and occupied the Netherlands as World War Two heated up. Fleeing the conflict, the Dutch royal family took refuge in Canada for five years. The Netherlands' Princess Margriet was born in an Ottawa hospital, which was temporarily declared Dutch territory so that she could obtain dual citizenship.
Canadian troops fought alongside the Dutch at the end of the war, and Canada's Air Force carried out crucial airlift missions and food drops to isolated Dutch cities. Many Canadians remained in the Netherlands after the war to help rebuild.
The Dutch, in turn, have a long history of migrating to Canada, dating back to the 19th century. Subsequent waves of migration followed after World War I and World War II. Dutch-Canadians remain one of Canada's largest immigrant groups.
Canada and the Netherlands also share strong business ties. Bilateral trade between the two nations exceeded $7 billion in 2014 and Dutch seaports play a key role in transporting Canadian goods throughout Europe. Both are founding members of a number of international organizations, including NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation.
Diplomatically, Canada and the Netherlands are about as close as two countries can be. How do they keep the magic alive after 70 years? Well, for one thing, the Netherlands even sends Canada flowers every year. No, seriously.
Netherlands-Canada Chamber of Commerce: Trade Information