Dutch officials hid critical Iraq report

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NRC-Handelsblad reports that senior civil servants at the foreign ministry in 2003 deliberately withheld from then Foreign Minister Jaap de Hoop Scheffer a report that questioned the legal basis to support the US-led invasion of Iraq.

THE NETHERLANDS - The newspaper, which has obtained a copy of the secret document, says the report concludes that the government's case to support the invasion is highly flawed.

Two opposition parties, the conservative VVD and the Socialist Party, have asked current Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen to explain what happened.

The VVD says the minister's answers will determine whether the party will support a parliamentary inquiry. So far all attempts to launch a probe into the way the Dutch government decided to support the war in Iraq, a move that sparked intense controversy, have foundered.

Radio Netherlands/ Expatica

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