|Minister of Foreign Affairs|
3 December 2003 – 22 February 2007
|Prime Minister||Jan Peter Balkenende|
|Preceded by||Jaap de Hoop Scheffer|
|Succeeded by||Maxime Verhagen|
|Permanent Representative of the |
Netherlands to the European Union
1 October 1992 – 1 January 2003
|Ambassador of the Netherlands |
1 January 1986 – 1 January 1989
|Deputy Permanent Representative |
of the Netherlands to NATO
1 January 1982 – 1 January 1986
|Ambassador of the Netherlands |
to East Germany
30 January 1973 – 15 December 1976
|Preceded by||New title|
Bernard Rudolf Bot
21 November 1937
Batavia, Dutch East Indies
|Political party||Christian Democratic Appeal |
|Catholic People's Party |
|Domestic partner||Sybilla Dekker |
|Residence||The Hague, Netherlands|
|Alma mater||Leiden University |
(Bachelor of Laws, Master of Laws, Doctor of Philosophy)
(Juris Doctor, Master of Laws)
|Occupation||Politician · Diplomat · Civil servant · Nonprofit director · Lobbyist |
Bernard Rudolf "Ben" Bot (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈbɛrnɑrt ˈrydɔlf bɛn bɔt]; born 21 November 1937) is a retired Dutch politician and diplomat of the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA).
He served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 3 December 2003 until 22 February 2007 in the Cabinets Balkenende II and III. A career diplomat, he succeeded then-Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaap de Hoop Scheffer who resigned to become Secretary General of NATO in 2003.
Bot was born in Batavia, Dutch East Indies (now Jakarta, Indonesia). The son of Theo Bot who served as Minister of Education, Culture and Science and Minister for Development Cooperation. He studied at the Leiden University where he earned an L.L.M. and a Ph.D. degree in Law, and attended subsequently The Hague Academy of International Law and Harvard Law School (Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States) where he received a second L.L.M. degree from the latter.
He served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1963 to 2002, including postings at the Permanent Representation of the Netherlands to the European Community from 1964 to 1970, the Netherlands embassy in Buenos Aires to 1973, and at the embassy in former East-Berlin in the DDR. In the period 1976-1982 he worked in the Netherlands for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague, after which he was Deputy Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) in Brussels.
From 1986-1989, Bot was Ambassador of the Netherlands to Turkey. He served as Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in The Hague until 1992, when he was appointed as Permanent Representative of the Netherlands to the European Union in Brussels. He held that post for an unusually long period of 10 years.
On 3 December 2003, Bot succeeded former NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the second Balkenende cabinet. Bot is a member of the Christen Democratisch Appèl (CDA) party. In February 2007 he was succeeded as foreign minister by Maxime Verhagen in the fourth Balkenende cabinet. Currently, Bot is a partner of the Praaning Meines Consultancy Group and holds various public posts including President of the Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy and Chairman of the Board of the Clingendael Institute in The Hague.
Bot voiced concern over the 2006 Lebanon War. Bot has expressed "understanding for Israel's reaction" but said "it would be hard to support Israel in case there will be many civilian casualties".
Bot was interviewed by the NRC Handelsblad newspaper in December 2007, where he reiterated his 2005 position that the 2003 invasion of Iraq was a mistake, and that he had to "redress" his comment in 2005 after heavy pressure from prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende. In response, Balkenende said that he would have asked Bot to step down if he did not revise his position at the time.
|Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau||Netherlands||10 December 1985|||
|Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion||Netherlands||30 April 1993|||
|Silver Medal of Honor of the Order of the Three Stars||Latvia||2008|
|Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit||Poland||29 June 2012|||