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WAR: Dutch Government Willing To Extend Commitment To Iraq

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posted on Jun, 11 2004 @ 01:03 PM
THE HAGUE, Netherlands - After times of uncertainty and discussion, the Dutch Cabinet plans to keep its 1,400 military forces another 8 months in Iraq. This move by the Dutch ruling coalition is domestically controversial. The Dutch public is divided over the stay of forces in Iraq. The decision is to be put to the lower house of parliament soon. It's expected to be approved.


The military force presently on the ground will be relieved, by the 13e infantry battalion from the 11e Air Mobile Brigade, during the course of July. Another relief is planned four months later. The troops stay until after the Iraqi elections, planned for the end of January 2005.

The Dutch forces are doing fine and seem to be accepted by the majority of the local Iraqi population. Southern Iraq the area of Dutch operations was relatively quiet until recently. Presently one Dutch soldier has died in Iraq.

Various issues played a role for the Dutch government deciding to extend their mandate, due to expire July 15.
A international military presence in Iraq is in the best interest of the occupied country regarding stability and security. These are key factors for the political and economic recovery of the occupied country.
Japan totally depends on the Dutch for their security, who carry out humanitarian work in southern Iraq. Yesterday Japan appealed to the Dutch for continued support.
The latest UN resolution made a small Dutch coalition partner, D66, agree to the extended commitment, joining the major ruling parties CDA and VVD. The democratic party, D66, had strong doubts, but the UN resolution passed anonymously Wednesday, gives the Iraqi people sufficient power, according to D66.

The Dutch opposition party PvdA is still against further deployment of troops because of the lacking of clear security guarantees.


"The Government has decided today to extend the Dutch military contribution to the multinational forces in Iraq for a period of eight months (from mid-July 2004 until mid-March 2005)," the Dutch Foreign Ministry.

"The mission is not open ended. The eight month period is related to the organization of elections and points in the U.N. Resolution."
"It's an important decision and I hope that it will benefit from the support of parliament and Dutch society," Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende.

"The Government is fully aware of the risks this operation poses for Dutch soldiers. Nevertheless, the Government considers them to be justified in view of the importance of the operation."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

other news sources:

- Associated Press
- NOS (in Dutch)

[edit on 11-6-2004 by Zion Mainframe]

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