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Prolongation of Dutch military presence in Afghanistan? SP demands clarification

10 September 2009

Prolongation of Dutch military presence in Afghanistan? SP demands clarification

SP Member of Parliament Harry van Bommel, the party's spokesman on foreign affairs, has asked Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen to comment on reports in the international press to the effect that the Dutch and US governments have agreed that some 500 soldiers from the Netherlands will remain in the Uruzgan region of Afghanistan beyond the originally agreed date of 2010. “The Netherlands has made its contribution," Van Bommel says. "500 soldiers remaining in Uruzgan will simply mean a continuation of the war being fought there."

Harry van Bommel In Wednesday's Financial Times it was reported that Verhagen had reached an agreement with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton regarding the Dutch contribution in Afghanistan after 2010. In Van Bommel's view, this is going much too far. “Verhagen is raising expectations which the Dutch people certainly don't share, that our military presence in Uruzgan will be prolonged.”

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