PvdA to back extension of Iraqi security mission
22 June 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Despite earlier reservations, main opposition party Labour PvdA indicated on Tuesday it will probably back an extension to the Dutch peacekeeping mission in Iraq.
22 June 2004
AMSTERDAM — Despite earlier reservations, main opposition party Labour PvdA indicated on Tuesday it will probably back an extension to the Dutch peacekeeping mission in Iraq.
PvdA leader Wouter Bos said before question time in the Lower House of Parliament, De Tweede Kamer, the probability that the PvdA would support the mission had increased after a party meeting.
But he asserted that the party will only make a definite decision on Tuesday night after a debate with Foreign Affairs Minister Ben Bot and Defence Minister Henk Kamp, Dutch public news service NOS reported.
Bos indicated that two dissident MPs have been given the liberty of voting against the mission's extension, but other MPs have yielded to the party majority.
The Dutch Cabinet resolved on 11 June to extend the Dutch peacekeeping mission in Iraq for another eight months until the scheduled democratic elections in the violence-torn nation in January 2005.
There are about 1,300 Dutch troops in the southern Iraqi province al-Muthanna. The troops were deployed in the summer of 2003 and one fatality has been reported in a spate of recent violent incidents. The expected PvdA turnaround ensures strong parliamentary majority support for the mission.
The Christian Democrat CDA, Liberal VVD, Democrat D66 and the smaller Christian parties SGP and ChristenUnie are expected to back the mission's extension.
The Socialist Party SP, green-left GroenLinks, Groep Lazarak and probably the populist LPF will vote against the mission's extension.
It is considered important for there to be broad parliamentary support when Dutch troops are deployed abroad on dangerous missions. Twice in recent years though, a large party has voted against foreign missions.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news