Saudi Arabia to ban Dutch firms

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Saudi companies have been ordered to exclude Dutch firms from future projects over an anti-Islamic stunt by a far-right Dutch politician, in a royal decree made public by the Mecca chamber of commerce.

The decree bans “Dutch firms from taking part in future projects in the kingdom, whether directly or through sub-contracting,” according to a chamber circular on Saturday.

It also reduces to a minimum the number of visas “for Dutch companies and investors who are not part of vital projects in the kingdom”.

And it orders an end visits by trade delegations between the two countries.

In November, anti-Islamic lawmaker Geert Wilders printed stickers imitating the Saudi flag with change in the Arabic text on it.

The Dutch foreign ministry told AFP earlier Saturday that Saudi Arabia feels “insulted” by Wilders, and spokesman Friso Wijnen said this could entail “commercial measures against the Netherlands.”

The Dutch government distanced itself from Wilders’ actions at the time, pointing out that the populist firebrand is not part of the government and his ideas are not representative.