Sunday, 24 October 2021
Dutch foreign minister resigns over Afghan crisis
AFP , Thursday 16 Sep 2021
Kaag's resignation comes a day after Britain's Dominic Raab was demoted from his position as foreign minister over the way he dealt with the situation in Afghanistan

Outgoing Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Affairs (D66) looks on as she resigns at the House of Representatives in the Hague, on September 16, 2021. AFP
Related
Afghan evacuations still a priority, Merkel agrees with British, Dutch
Dutch to donate 10 million euros for Afghan aid
Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag resigned on Thursday after parliament formally condemned her handling of the Afghanistan evacuation crisis.
Lawmakers approved a motion criticising the government for failing to evacuate some Afghans, and for missing signs of an imminent Taliban takeover.
Kaag's resignation comes a day after Britain's Dominic Raab was demoted from his position as foreign minister over the way he dealt with the situation in Afghanistan.
"The House considers that the government has acted irresponsibly," Kaag said in a statement to parliament after parliament voted by 78 votes to 72 to condemn her.
"And although I stand by our commitment, I can only accept the consequences of this judgement as the minister with ultimate responsibility," she added.
"In my view on democracy and the culture of our administration, a minister should go if the policy is disapproved of. I will therefore submit my resignation as minister of foreign affairs to his majesty the king."
Dutch Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld however refused to resign despite also being hit with a so-called censure motion by parliament.
Kaag said she would stay on as leader of the centre-left D66 party, which is in coalition talks with Prime Minister Mark Rutte after winning the second-most seats in elections in March.
Rutte said her resignation was a "great loss" to the cabinet.
The Netherlands evacuated more than 1,500 people, both Dutch nationals and eligible Afghans, in the final chaotic days before the US pulled out of Afghanistan.
But many Afghans were left behind, including 22 interpreters, according to the government, despite calls from MPs to evacuate them months ago.
'Blind Spot' 
Kaag admitted during the debate that the government "had a whole blind spot in how quickly it would get that bad" in Afghanistan, but said other countries had been in a similar position.
Dutch lawmakers from across the political spectrum lined up to criticise the government during a parliamentary debate on Afghanistan on Tuesday.
"How is it possible that there are still dozens of defence interpreters in Kabul?" said Jeroen van Wijngaarden, an MP from Prime Minister Rutte's VVD party.
Ministers were accused of being "apathetic" and mired in "slowness and vagueness" during the evacuation crisis.
The sense of chaos was fuelled by reports in local media that the Dutch ambassador had been begging the government since March 2020 to make preparations, but that ministers only decided two days before the fall of Kabul.
The debacle has stirred bitter memories in the Netherlands of another foreign policy failure, when Dutch peacekeepers failed to prevent the 1995 Srebrenica massacre during the Bosnian War.
Dutch broadcaster NOS said it would have been "very difficult" for Kaag to stay on, given that after elections she had made strong calls for political change.
Kaag had herself called on Rutte to resign in April after he too was condemned by parliament over claims he lied about coalition talks, but the premier clung on.
The Afghan row now threatens to further complicate coalition talks that have dragged on since the elections, with a caretaker government still in place six months on.
Search Keywords:
Short link:

 
Latest News
Pyramids through to Confed Cup playoff with 1-0 win over Tanzania's Azam
Algeria's Bennacer helps AC Milan go top of Serie A
Spain La Liga fixtures & results (10th matchday)
Match facts: Egypt's Pyramids v Tanzania's Azam (African Confederation.....
Italy Serie A fixtures & results (9th matchday)
Fourth Cairo Water Week kicks off on Sunday
UNFPA, national stakeholders launch initiative to empower teenage girls in Egypt
Secrecy shrouds Afghan refugees sent by US to base in Kosovo
Two years after protests, Lebanon activists set sights on vote
Apple updates App Store payment rules in concession to developers
Most Viewed
INTERVIEW: IMF outlook on the Middle East
Negotiations without borders
Yemen: Fighting for the citadel
I'm really satisfied: Arsenal coach Arteta after Aston Villa win
Egypt reports 885 new coronavirus cases, 44 deaths on Friday
Report: Foreign aid lost in Syria exchange rate distortions
Senior al-Qaeda leader killed in US drone strike in Syria: Pentagon
Pakistan: 10 militants, 2 soldiers killed in police raids
Deadly clashes as banned Pakistan party continues protest
Russian COVID spike persists, setting new death record
Also In International
Italian far-right leader Salvini faces court in migrant trial
Apple updates App Store payment rules in concession to developers
Over 2,000 migrants march out of southern city in Mexico
Iran provincial governor slapped in a rare security breach
Russia puts torture video whistleblower on wanted list
COP26 climate deal harder than Paris: Summit president
Thousands of Islamists continue marching to Pakistan capital
Roadside bombing targets Taliban, kills Afghan civilians
Egypt Business Opinion WorldArts & Culture Sports Life & StyleAntiquities Books AnalysisHeritage Multimedia​Al-Ahram Weekly About us
© 2020 All Rights Reserved Ahram Online.
HomeEgyptEgypt Home Politics Courts & LawForeign AffairsSocietyHealthUrban & TransportDefenseTourismBusinessBusiness Home EconomyMarkets & CompaniesEnergyTechOpinionWorldWorld Home RegionInternationalAfricaArts & CultureArts & Culture Home FilmMusicVisual ArtStage & StreetEntertainmentArt AlertSportsSports Home Egyptian FootballTalents AbroadWorldNational TeamsAfricaOmni sportsMultimediaLife & StyleLife & Style Home StyleHealthFoodCity LightsAntiquitiesAntiquities Home Ancient EgyptGreco-RomanCopticIslamicMuseumsBooksBooks Home ReviewsNewsAnalysisHeritageHeritage Home WalksFolk ArtsHeritage specialPhoto HeritageInspiring MindsMultimediaAl-Ahram WeeklyAl-Ahram Weekly Home EgyptEconomyWorldOpinionCultureLimelightHeritageFeaturesFocusLivingSufra DaymaEntre nousAutosTravelInterviewsSpecialArtCinemaExhibitionsLecturesTheaterMusic and danceSports