WASHINGTON, June 1 (UPI) -- The royal couple from the Netherlands made a historic visit to Washington, D.C., on Monday, where they thanked the United States for being an ally nation and met with President Barack Obama to discuss a variety of diplomatic issues.
King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima visited Arlington National Cemetery Monday morning, across the river from Washington, where they paid tribute at the Tomb of the Unknowns -- part of their official show of thanks for the U.S.-led coalition that helped free the Netherlands from Nazi occupation during World War II.
"U.S.A., thank you very much for liberating us," King Alexander said. "At Arlington, we honored those people who gave the utmost, their life, for our country.
"The main reason for our visit, obviously, was to thank the United States for what you did for us 70 years ago."
"So many of our World War II veterans ... are at the twilight of their lives. For them to hear directly from such important [leaders about] how much of a difference they make, and to get that recognition is just truly significant," Obama said, calling the Netherlands one of the United States' "most precious allies."
"We have 400 years of history between our two countries. In Europe that doesn't mean a lot, but in the United States that's as old as it gets," he said.
During the meet, Obama also pledged to continue efforts in learning what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 -- which disappeared a year ago, carrying one Dutch passenger, and presumably crashed somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Three Americans were also aboard the flight.
"I continue to make the solemn commitment to support the Dutch in the investigation of the Malaysian Airlines tragedy. And to make sure that not only is the truth brought forward, but there is accountability for what took place," Obama said.
The trio also touched on other global issues, such as Islamic State terrorism, the recent Ebola virus outbreak, and the severe weather that devastated parts of Texas and Oklahoma last week.
"I'd like to express my sympathies for people in Texas and Oklahoma that are suffering such severe weather conditions right now," King Alexander said. "The floodings are terrible. The victims and the families are going through a rough time. And if we can help as the Netherlands, of course we are willing to help."
"My heartfelt condolences for Vice President Biden, for his second big tragedy in his life, now losing his son, while serving as best he can as vice president," the Dutch leader said, making reference to the 1972 car crash that killed Biden's first wife, Neilia, and their baby daughter, Naomi.
The royal couple planned to attend Monday evening's Major League Baseball game between the Washington Nationals and Toronto Blue Jays before heading to Michigan and Chicago on Tuesday, where the king said they will discuss issues like healthy aging and urban farming.
Obama, who grew up in Chicago, perked up at the king's mention of the Windy City.
"We hope to have a party in your hometown," King Alexander said.