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Amsterdam - Moroccan-Dutch politician Ahmed Aboutaleb was sworn in on Monday january 5th as mayor of Rotterdam, the second largest city of the Netherlands. The 47-year-old Labour politician is the first mayor of a Dutch city to be born and raised outside the Netherlands. He is also the first Muslim to become a mayor in the Netherlands.

Some 45 per cent of Rotterdam’s half a million citizens were born outside the Netherlands or have foreign-born parents.

The city suffers from a broad range of socio-economic problems. Crime involving the migrant community is an ongoing issue that causes tension with Dutch-born citizens.

Speaking for the first time as a mayor, Aboutaleb said he would commit himself to making Rotterdam a safer city.

"The city moved forward tremendously under my predecessor. This direction appeals to me. Rotterdam has become safer and the people of the city can notice it."

Aboutaleb, who until his appointment as mayor served as deputy minister of social affairs, was born in Morocco.

He migrated to the Netherlands at the age of 14 and also holds Dutch nationality.

Moroccan citizens cannot revoke their citizenship. Children of Moroccan parents born abroad automatically receive Moroccan citizenship.

Repeated attempts by the Dutch authorities to negotiate with Morocco over the right to revoke Moroccan citizenship have failed.