On Monday, 24 March 2014, Prime Minister Mark Rutte will receive Barack Obama, the President of the United States of America, prior to his visit to the Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in The Hague. Their meeting in Amsterdam is set to take place in the Rijksmuseum. Mayor Van der Laan will also be on hand to welcome President Obama. This encounter reflects the strong bilateral, historical and economic ties between the Netherlands and the United States. It will also be the first occasion in which the serving US president visits Amsterdam.

Bilateral relationship

Upon arrival at the Rijksmuseum, both the Prime Minister and Mayor of Amsterdam will offer President Obama a warm welcome. Subsequently, Prime Minister Rutte and President Obama will take the opportunity to view two historic documents that mark the bilateral relationship between the Netherlands and the United States: the Act of Abjuration from 1581 (known in Dutch as Plakkaat van Verlaetinghe) and the first American-Dutch Treaty of Amity and Commerce, dating from 1782. For the special occasion of President Obama’s visit, the Act of Abjuration – which served as inspiration for the United States’ own Declaration of Independence – will be transferred from the National Archives of the Netherlands to the Rijksmuseum. President Obama will then be provided a tour of the Rijksmuseum by its director Wim Pijbes, including highlights such as the Gallery of Honour and Rembrandt’s ‘The Night Watch’.

Following the tour, Prime Minister Rutte and President Obama will discuss a number of current political and economic issues. Upon completion of their conversation, both will provide a brief statement to the assembled press.