Turkey rejects Dutch toxic ship

29th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

29 August 2006, AMSTERDAM — Dutch junior Environment minister Pieter van Geel returns on Tuesday from Turkey after failing to persuade Ankara to accept a deal on the freighter Otapan. The vessel contains large amounts of asbestos.

29 August 2006

AMSTERDAM — Dutch junior Environment minister Pieter van Geel returns on Tuesday from Turkey after failing to persuade Ankara to accept a deal on the freighter Otapan. The vessel contains large amounts of asbestos.

"The talks ended in disappointment. The junior minister offered to have the ship dismantled and cleaned up in an environmentally and human-friendly manner. The Turks rejected the offer," Van Geel's spokesperson said.

Further details were left to a press conference in The Hague later on Tuesday.
The Otapan has been tied up in Amsterdam since 1999 and was to be scrapped in Turkey.

Van Geel issued an export licence which stated the vessel contained a tonne of asbestos. The Turkish authorities refused to accept the Otapan when it emerged it contained 54 tonnes of the carcinogenic material.

The Christian Democrat minister has conceded that a mistake was made but he has rejected a suggestion by Greenpeace that he tried to mislead the Turks. The opposition Labour Party (PvdA) has asked Van Geel to explain the fiasco.

Greenpeace said it was glad that the Turkish authorities had rejected the ship and that it was now up to the Netherlands to clean up its own mess.

According to the environmental group, Turkey's Environment minister Osman Pepe accused the Netherlands at a press conference on Monday evening of breaching diplomatic rules. Under the terms of the Basel Convention, the incorrect export licence resulted in an illegal transport and Turkey could not allow the ship to enter, Pepe said. 

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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