SP leader Agnes Kant visits Dutch troops in Afghanistan

25 October 2009

SP leader Agnes Kant visits Dutch troops in Afghanistan

While other party leaders were in Suriname, Agnes Kant chose to join a number of fellow members of the Dutch parliament visiting the country's troops stationed in Afghanistan. “The enormous involvement and the effort put in by the Dutch soldiers made a strong impression on me," said Kant. "Whatever we may think of this mission, you have to have respect for that."

On the street, Agnes talks to a young man who gives computer lessons in Tarin Kowt

Among those with whom the parliamentary delegation met in Kabul was General Stanley McChrystal, the American commander of the ISAF, Afghan Defence Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak, UN special envoy to Afghanistan Kai Eide, and members of the Electoral Complaints Commission, a body which had just presented its findings regarding fraud in the recent presidential elections. As is now known, as a result of these findings a second round of voting will take place in a few weeks.

Meeting with the provincial executive in the offices of the governor

In Kandahar the delegation spoke with Major General Mart de Kruijf, commander-in-chief of all ISAF units in the six southern provinces. During their stay in the base of Kamp Holland in Uruzgan, they also held far-ranging talks with Dutch military and diplomatic personnel.

“Our country is on the point of taking an important decision," Kant said. "Should we prolong the mission for a further two years or not? It's good to have the opportunity to come to the place and take a look for myself. SP Members of Parliament Krista van Velzen and Remi Poppe have already been here. Of course in this short week I wasn't able to gain a complete picture of the situation, but I've seen nothing to persuade me to change our standpoint on the war in Afghanistan.”

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