Lying about support for armed groups in Syria is unacceptable

3 October 2018

Lying about support for armed groups in Syria is unacceptable

During Tuesday's Parliamentary debate on Dutch aid to armed groups in Syria, SP Member of Parliament Sadet Karabulut presented a motion of no confidence in Foreign Minister Stef Blok.

Explaining her reasons for this, Karabulut said, “We had to learn from the media that for years the Netherlands had been supplying pick-up trucks, uniforms and other materiel to war criminals, to Jihadists and allies of Al Qa’ida. Time after time we've asked about this and each time the government has denied it.  In view of the minister's half-truths and lies regarding this support, we saw no other option but to propose a motion of no confidence.”  

International law played an important role in the debate, with the government's external international legal advisor expressing grave doubts as to whether Dutch support to armed groups in Syria has indeed stayed within its limits.  Other jurists expressed similarly serious concerns, stating that international law had probably been transgressed. “The minister asserted that it had not, but that's not credible,” Karabulut insisted. “It must be investigated more closely. Certainly in the case of a country such as the Netherlands, which has in its constitution an obligation on the government to further the development of the international legal order. It's absolutely clear that that has not happened.” 

Unfortunately, the motion of no confidence failed to find a majority. Because many questions remain unanswered, the SP also presented during the debate a proposal for a parliamentary enquiry  into the matter. On this, MPs have yet to vote.

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