Denmark calls on Turkish PM to delay planned visit

Pro-Erdogan activists shout slogans during a protest in front of the Dutch Consulate in Istanbul on Sunday. (Reuters)
Updated 13 March 2017

Denmark calls on Turkish PM to delay planned visit

STOCKHOLM: Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen on Sunday called on his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim to delay a visit planned for later this month because of “tensions” between Ankara and the Netherlands.
“Such a visit could not take place in light of the current attacks by Turkey against the Netherlands. Therefore I proposed to my Turkish colleague to postpone our meeting,” Rasmussen said in a statement.
“In normal circumstances, it would be a pleasure to welcome (Yildirim) with whom I had a frank and constructive dialogue on Dec. 10 in Ankara,” he added.
Yildirim’s visit had been planned for March 20, according to Danish radio station DR.
Rasmussen said Denmark “was following with serious concern the events Turkey, where democratic principles are under great pressure.”
A diplomatic row has erupted between Turkey and the Netherlands after the Dutch prevented top Turkish ministers from holding rallies ahead of a referendum on expanding President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s powers.
Erdogan accused the Netherlands — which was occupied by the Germans in World War II — of behaving like the Nazis.
Turkey’s foreign minister said in France on Sunday that the Netherlands is the “capital of fascism.”
Some 800 flag-waving Turks gathered in the eastern French city of Metz for the address by Mevlut Cavusoglu.
The “fascism” comment echoed accusations by Erdogan himself, both Saturday and again on Sunday, when he said the Netherlands was behaving like the Nazis in its treatment of Turkish ministers.
The Metz rally, which had the blessing of the French authorities, was planned weeks ago but took on “another dimension” because of the row between Ankara and The Hague, said Saban Kiper, vice president of a grouping in France of Turkish associations.
“France has a more serene attitude than the Netherlands,” he said.
French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said in a statement there was “no reason to prohibit this gathering that... poses no possibility of interference in French political life.”


Riyadh route revealed for inaugural Saudi Tour cycling event

Updated 24 January 2020

Riyadh route revealed for inaugural Saudi Tour cycling event

  • The race, will begin at the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee headquarters on Feb. 4 and end on Feb. 8 at Al-Masmak Fort

RIYADH: The Saudi Cycling Federation on Thursday revealed the full route for next month’s inaugural Saudi Tour event in Riyadh.

The 755 kilometer race, which is split into five daily stages, will begin at the Saudi Arabian Olympic Committee headquarters on Feb. 4 and end on Feb. 8 at Al-Masmak Fort. Along the way, the competitors will pass many Riyadh landmarks, including Sadus Castle, Wadi Namar Park and Al-Bujairi historical district.

Eighteen teams from 13 countries will compete, and the riders include Mark Cavendish from the UK, Frenchman Nacer Bouhanni and Dutch cyclist Niki Terpstra.

Subah Al-Kraidees, chairman of the Saudi Cycling Federation, said he is delighted that the Kingdom is hosting a major Union Cycliste Internationale cycling event for the first time.

“I am so proud that the Saudi Cycling Federation is able to see one of its dreams realized with this event, and to have Saudi Arabia recognized as an important station in the international biking scene,” he said. “This is a great opportunity for Saudi athletes to rub shoulders with international bikers, and to see what they have achieved and learn from their experiences.”

The Saudi Tour will be broadcast worldwide by 25 TV networks, six of whom will also live stream the event.

Three other events will take place on the sidelines of the main race: a public bike ride from noon to 12:45 p.m. on Feb. 6, a junior race on the same day from 1 p.m. to 2.40 p.m., and a women’s ride from 12.30 p.m. to 1.30 p.m. on Feb. 8.

You can find more details of the event and broadcast schedules, and track the teams and their race times, at www.thesauditour.com.