Lower house approves anti-piracy missions
A majority in the lower house of parliament has voted in favour of a cabinet decision to continue participating in two anti-piracy naval missions operating off the Somali coast and the Gulf of Aden.
Four Dutch navy ships and a submarine will take part in the two operations; one run by NATO and the other by the European Union. The cabinet said it was important to continue participating in the anti-piracy flotillas because the continuing violence in Somalia is making life very difficult for the civilian population and piracy is an ongoing problem in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.
According to the cabinet, both humanitarian aid convoys and commercials shipping need protection at sea. Between 20,000 and 30,000 ships, about 450 of them registered in the Netherlands, pass through the Gulf of Aden annually.
All parties voted in favour of NATO's Ocean Shield mission but Geert Wilders' PVV voted against the EU's Atalanta mission.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide