The Netherlands is to send its top foreign official to Saudi Arabia to defuse a row over anti-Islamic stickers.

A Dutch government official has confirmed that the foreign minister will visit Riyadh to try to ensure the country avoids trade sanctions.

A row has been bubbling since the Dutch right-wing politician printed anti-Islamic stickers in the colours of the Saudi flag.

Geert Wilders, of the Dutch Freedom Party, had used the stickers in his campaign in the run-up to the EU elections late last year.

The stickers carried an inflammatory anti-Islamic symbol in place of the Islamic creed, which read: "Islam is a lie, Muhammad is a criminal, the Koran is poison."

The Dutch vowed to despatch a high-level diplomat to Riyadh to resolve the situation. Now the country's most senior diplomat Frans Timmermans is set to visit the Gulf in an attempt to salvage a $5bn (£3bn, €3.7bn) bilateral trade relationship.

The decision was confirmed today by a Dutch government spokesperson Ahmed Dadou, who said The Netherlands had informed Riyadh that while it supports freedom of speech, it does not endorse the views of Wilders.

Fears had been stoked by the Council of Saudi Chambers, which said the Saudi government had banned it from taking orders or participating in projects with Dutch companies. There was also a ban slapped on trade delegations.

In 2013, the Netherlands exported $2bn worth of goods to Saudi Arabia.

Timmermans has spoken of his fears that the revenue would be interrupted by the actions of Wilders, a renowned far-right exhibitionist.

He told Dutch television: "The Netherlands cannot be held responsible for the adolescent behaviour of a single parliamentarian. We will do everything possible to keep the consequences for the Netherlands as limited as possible."

Wilders has long since protested against the rise of Islam in the Netherlands. He has summed his views up by saying: "I don't hate Muslims, I hate Islam."

He has compared the Koran with Mein Kampf and said that Muslim women should be taxed, should they wish to wear a hijab.