THE HAGUE, Premier Jan Peter Balkenende and Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen are visiting Washington from 5 to 8 June. They will be received at the White House by US President George W. Bush.

On 5 June, Balkenende and Verhagen will discuss with the departing president "among other things the international political situation, including developments in Afghanistan and economic cooperation between the United States and the Netherlands," according to the Government Information Service (RVD).

The premier will also take part in the annual Bilderberg Conference, being held this time in Chantilly, near Washington. This secretive meeting of world leaders was originally dreamed up by Prince Bernhard, the father of Queen Beatrix. The press is not welcome. (5.20.2008)