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Van Bommel demands explanation over allegations of deal on Iraq invasion

29 January 2009

Van Bommel demands explanation over allegations of deal on Iraq invasion

SP Member of Parliament and foreign affairs spokesman Harry van Bommel has asked Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen for an explanation of claims by former US State Department Under-Secretary Richard Armitage that the Netherlands was paid by the United States for its support for the invasion of Iraq. “If this was the case, they would be shown to have been hand in glove. I just want the government to say whether or not this was true.”

Armitage says today, in an interview published in Dutch regional dailies, that in exchange for Dutch support for the war, the administration ensured that no sanctions would be imposed as a result of the country's increasing role as an entrepôt through which people are trafficked into the US. In addition, the appointment of Dutchman Jaap de Hoop Scheffer as NATO Secretary-General was, Armitage alleged, directly related to the government's position on the war.

“Once again we must leave no stone unturned in seeking the truth in this matter,” said Van Bommel. “I want to know whether agreements were arrived at on this and promises made. Otherwise this issue must be added to the ever-lengthening list of questions which remain open for the urgently needed parliamentary enquiry into the Netherlands' political support for the war on Iraq.”

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