BERLIN German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed on Thursday an election victory in the Netherlands for center-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte who fought off a challenge from anti-Islam and anti-EU rival Geert Wilders.
"The Netherlands are our partners, friends, neighbors. Therefore I was very happy that a high turnout led to a very pro-European result, a clear signal," Merkel told a conference on demography.
"And that after days in which the Netherlands had to tolerate accusations and reproaches from Turkey which are totally unacceptable... It was a good day for democracy."
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel also welcomed the pro-Europe result.
(Reporting by Madeline Chambers; Editing by Andrea Shalal)