Today I signed a Declaration of Intent on a Strategic Dialogue with the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Bert Koenders, further strengthening the relationship between Australia and the Netherlands.

The close relationship we have with the Netherlands is grounded in shared values. Our countries are open and liberal champions of democracy, human rights, free trade and the rules-based international order.

The Declaration highlights the strong political, economic and cultural ties between Australia and the Netherlands and commits us to enhanced cooperation on international security, trade and investment, human rights and development issues.

Minister Koenders and I also visited the MH17 Memorial in the grounds of Parliament House today to pay our respects.

We have reaffirmed our commitment to achieving agreement on an accountability mechanism for the downing of MH17, and agreed to continue working together in the criminal investigation through the Joint Investigation Team (JIT).

Australia and the Netherlands, together with our JIT partners, are willing to act to seek justice for the victims and their loved ones and preserve international peace and security.

Minister Koenders is accompanying Their Majesties, the King and Queen of the Netherlands during their State visit to Australia.

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