Former Dutch Prime Minister Dries van Agt and his wife died “hand in hand” due to euthanasia at the age of 93.

The Hague (AFP) – Van Agt driesPrime Minister of the Christian Democratic Party Holland From 1977 until 1982, he died by euthanasia “hand in hand” with his wife, according to the human rights organization he founded. They were both 93.

The news was broken on Friday by the Rights Forum, which said the couple died on Monday and would be buried in a private ceremony in the eastern city of Nijmegen.

“He died alongside his beloved wife, Eugenie van Agt Krekelberg, a supporter and anchor with whom he had been together for more than 70 years and whom he always referred to as ‘my girl,’” the nonprofit said. He said in a statement.

The two had been in fragile health for some time. In 2019, Van Agt suffered a brain hemorrhage while giving a speech at a Palestinian memorial service and never fully recovered.

Van Agt, a Christian Democrat of traditional Dutch origins, became increasingly progressive after leaving politics, eventually leaving his party in 2017 over ideological differences with the center-right Christian Democratic Appeal party’s approach to Israel and the Palestinians.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutiwho referred to Van Agt as his “great-grandfather in office”, paid tribute to the former politician.

“With his elegant and unique language, his clear convictions and his stunning presentation, Dries van Agt gave color and substance to Dutch politics at a time of polarization and partisan renewal,” Rutte said in a statement.

The Dutch royal family also praised him. “He took over managerial responsibility at a turbulent time and managed to inspire many with his striking personality and colorful style.” King Willem-AlexanderQueen Máxima and Princess Beatrix said in a joint statement.

Van Agt was known for his vintage references and grandiose language, as well as his passion for cycling. He had to quit that hobby in 2019 after a fall.

Together with the right-wing Liberal Party, the Christian Democratic Appeal Party ruled the Netherlands with Van Agt as Prime Minister from 1977 until 1981. After the election, he again became Prime Minister, and formed a coalition with the Labor Party and the Centrist Democrats 66 in a new presidential election. The government lasted for a year.

After his visit to Israel in 1999, he became increasingly vocal about his support for the Palestinian people. He referred to his experience on the trip as “transformative.”

In 2009, he founded the Rights Forum, which calls for “a fair and sustainable Dutch and European policy regarding the Palestine/Israel issue,” according to the nonprofit.

He is survived by his three children.

(tags for translation)Dries van Agt

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