"Netherlands should take in Iraqis"

22nd June 2007, Comments 0 comments

22 June 2007, THE HAGUE – Former Labour PvdA minister Jan Pronk thinks it "shameful" that the Netherlands, which shares political responsibility for the war in Iraq which has caused such a flood of refugees, has not taken in more than 100 Iraqis.

22 June 2007

THE HAGUE – Former Labour PvdA minister Jan Pronk thinks it "shameful" that the Netherlands, which shares political responsibility for the war in Iraq which has caused such a flood of refugees, has not taken in more than 100 Iraqis.

The Netherlands should take in far more Iraqi refugees, Pronk says in an interview with the Volkskrant on Saturday. As a member of President George Bush's "coalition of the willing" the Netherlands should take some responsibility for helping the 4.2 million Iraqis that have been displaced by the violence.

"Western countries operate on a double standard: they invade somewhere, but do not take responsibility for the consequences," says the former minister and former UN envoy to the Sudan.

"Shamefully few" is Pronk's assessment of the number of refugees the Netherlands has accepted. "The situation is completely lopsided. Almost all the Iraqi refugees are being sheltered in the region now, in Jordan and Syria, but these countries do not have the means to provide for them. Western countries are taking hardly any people in, nor do they give any support for care in the region. I call that a hypocritical policy."

Pronk also points out the fading distinction between "political" and "economic" refugees. "People leave because they can no longer survive in their home country, the reasons are intertwined. Economic malaise often leads to political crisis and vice versa."

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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