Dutch PM unsure of support for Afghan mission
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says he is far from certain that MPs will approve a new Dutch mission in Afghanistan. Speaking to daily newspaper , Mr Rutte admits that he has no guarantees that a parliamentary majority will back the government's plan to send dozens of police experts to train Afghan forces in January's vote on the issue.
The minority government of the conservative VVD and the Christian Democrats cannot count on the support of the populist Freedom Party on this contentious issue and intensive efforts to drum up support from other parties have so far failed to produce results. In Dutch politics, it is customary but not obligatory for the government to seek broad parliamentary support before deploying troops overseas.
The prime minister also tells that his government is not seeking a new Afghan mission to bolster the Netherlands' international reputation. He insists that in addition to helping Afghanistan, the mission is in the direct interests of the Netherlands by ensuring stability in the region.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide