Expatica news

Dutch troops to return home in March

12 November 2004

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Cabinet confirmed its decision on Friday to withdraw the nation’s troops from peacekeeping duties in Iraq in March 2005, Defence Minister Henk Kamp said.

Uncertainty enveloped the withdrawal of the troops recently after Foreign Minister Ben Bot indicated that there was a possibility the mission might be extended, news service nu.nl reported.

He said that in the event of “unforeseen circumstances” the cabinet would consult with the Parliament about extending the mission. But a large majority of MPs are opposed to the troops staying any longer than March next year in Iraq.

The Dutch troops are patrolling the al-Muthanna province in southern Iraq. The mission started in the summer of 2003 and two soldiers have been killed in attacks by insurgents. There are currently 1,329 Dutch soldiers in Iraq.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news