SP votes against Dutch contribution to intervention in Libya

23 March 2011

SP votes against Dutch contribution to intervention in Libya

Harry van BommelThe SP has reacted negatively to the Dutch government’s declared intention to contribute to the military operation in Libya. 'We voted for the declaration and enforcement of a no-fly zone, but as we understand that this was achieved after a single day, we are asking why the bombing continued and what was bombed during the ensuing days. Also, what’s lacking is a common vision of Libya’s future. Because the government and the international community have left these questions unanswered, there should be no question of a Dutch contribution,’ says SP Member of Parliament and foreign affairs spokesman,’ Harry van Bommel. ‘We support the call, also expressed by the rebels, for an immediate cease-fire.’

Van Bommel stresses that the SP is not in principle against intervention in Libya. “Obviously Gaddafi is a dictator who should be put on trial. We have long argued for a no-fly zone and an arms embargo, and if you do that you can’t walk away from the consequences. After last weekend, with the continuing bombing which went on despite the already established no-fly zone, I’m of the opinion that it should first of all be made clear what political aim is being pursued through further military action. As things stand, that’s totally unclear. If Obama says that the goal is to get rid of Gaddafi, then we would be extremely concerned about the aftermath of the war. Of course, everyone wants him gone as quickly as possible, but how and when is up to the Libyans.

“However you look at it, the F16s and other military material that the Netherlands is now sending to the region form part of the overall war against Libya. Because all of our questions regarding proportionality, the political vision of the role of the international community in this conflict, and mission’s goals remain unanswered, we can’t vote in favour of this decision.”

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