Sunday, October 17, 2021

Dutch Foreign Minister Resigns Over Afghanistan Evacuation Chaos | Political news

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Sigrid Kaag acknowledged that the government’s slow response meant that some of the local staff and people who had worked for the Dutch troops had not been evacuated.

Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag resigned after the lower house of parliament passed a vote of no confidence against the government for its handling of evacuations from Afghanistan amid the Taliban takeover.

In a parliamentary debate on Wednesday night, Kaag acknowledged that the government’s slow or confused response to warnings about the situation in Afghanistan meant that some of the local staff and people who had worked as translators for Dutch troops in the country had not been evacuated.

After the motion passed on Thursday, Kaag immediately said he would resign, saying that parliament had decided “that the cabinet has acted irresponsibly.”

“I can only accept the consequences of this trial as a minister with the utmost responsibility,” he added.

Kaag was a minister in a Dutch provisional government that is in power amid lengthy negotiations to form a new ruling coalition after the general elections in March.

Kaag, who leads the centrist D66 party, has been closely involved in those talks along with interim Prime Minister Mark Rutte, whose conservative People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy won the most seats in the elections.

It was not immediately clear what effect his resignation would have on those negotiations. The Dutch public broadcaster NOS reported that Kaag said she would remain the leader of D66 and continue in the coalition talks.

In his resignation speech, he said that the D66 ministers would remain in the interim government.

Kaag’s resignation came a day after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson deposed Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab as part of a cabinet restructuring.

Raab had faced criticism for delaying his return from a holiday in Greece when the Taliban took over Afghanistan last month.

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