At SP's request, Parliament invited to Afghanistan Conference

30 March 2009

At SP's request, Parliament invited to Afghanistan Conference

SP foreign affairs specialist Harry van Bommel's request that Parliament be invited to attend tomorrow's International Conference on Afghanistan has received a positive response from Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen. Van Bommel will attend the conference along with SP parliamentary colleague Farshad Bashir, the only Dutch MP born in Afghanistan.

Harry van BommelThe central question up for discussion at the conference is how the international community can better help this poverty-stricken country, in which the foreign military presence has become part of the problem. The SP sees no advantage in compounding this by sending still more troops, an intention announced recently by President Obama. The conference will also look at means of improving cooperation with Afghanistan's neighbours, which Van Bommel describes as absolutely essential. “In view of the cross-border character of this war, the involvement of these countries is indispensable. This problem has long concerned more than just Afghanistan. The favoured approach has not been successful, and alternatives must be found which are capable of winning broader support. This will only happen if a halt is called to the war. Our slogan, Stop the war, support Afghanistan is more applicable than ever.”

In April Parliament will debate the conference's conclusions.

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