Defence minister denies Sudan-Wilders link
Van Middelkoop says that Khartoum’s reaction to the film was restrained.9 April 2008
Defence minister Eimert Van Middelkoop has distanced himself from a statement by his ministry saying that he was refused a visa to visit Dutch soldiers in Sudan due to anti-Qur’an film.
Khartoum was thought to have refused the visa because it was angry about Fitna by MP Geert Wilders. But Van Middelkoop denies there was any link, saying that Khartoum's reaction to the film has been restrained.
The Sudanese government also denies refusing the minister a visa. Khartoum said that at most there had been some delay in processing the application.
Van Middelkoop was planning to visit Dutch troops deployed as part of the UN force in southern Sudan. The troops are monitoring a peace agreement between the Islamic north and the mainly Christian south of the country. The minister said he was confident he would be able to make the trip at some point in the coming months.
[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]