Foreign Minister given task of sending nuclear bombs home to the US

22 April 2010

Foreign Minister given task of sending nuclear bombs home to the US

Parliament today gave Minister of Foreign Affairs Maxime Verhagen a clear assignment: he must make it plain to President Obama that American nuclear weapons stationed in Europe are no longer wanted and that they must therefore be withdrawn. SP Member of Parliament, defence spokeswoman Krista van Velzen describes herself as "delighted" that Parliament adopted her motion containing this instruction. "Hillary Clinton left no doubt today that she had not yet understood the message, when she stated that these nuclear weapons would not be going anywhere for the time being," says Van Velzen. "It's now up to Verhagen to go directly to Obama with this pressing demand. This is a chance to take a major step towards a nuclear weapon-free world"

Krista van VelzenNext week Verhagen will participate in the Review Conference for the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), which bans countries registered as non-nuclear armed states from possessing such weapons. "In the cold war American nuclear weapons were handed over to the Dutch Air Force, a direct breach of the NPT," says Van Velzen. "It's good that Verhagen has now been given the task of ensuring that we return to fulfilling the terms of the treaty. It's also important that NATO give some insight into where these nuclear weapons actually are, so that discussion of this issue can be conducted with greater clarity. It's an open secret that nuclear weapons for F-16 war planes are situated at Volkel air base. Making this information public would be the next stop towards actually waving goodbye to these weapons.”

Van Velzen will participate in next week's NPT Review Conference in New York as a member of the Netherlands delegation.

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