UN Mali chief Koenders named Dutch foreign minister

17th October 2014, Comments 0 comments

The former head of the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, Bert Koenders, was on Friday named the Netherlands new foreign minister, the government said.

Koenders, 56, takes over from Frans Timmermans, also from the centre-left PvdA party, who heads to Brussels as the new right-hand man of European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker.

Koenders was the head of the MINUSMA peacekeeping mission in Mali since 2013.

Peace talks between Bamako and tuareg rebels are not expected to be affected by Koenders' departure as his deputy, Arnauld Akodjenou, has been in charge of the negotiations.

© 2014 AFP

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