Holland’s relationship with the US has been dented by the confirmation that secret CIA prisons were used to detain terrorist suspects, foreign minister Ben Bot (photo) said today. .
Speaking during an emergency debate following last week’s admission by US president George Bush, Bot said he felt he had been ‘taken for a ride’ by the Americans. After tough talks within Nato over the treatment of stateless combatants last year, he had been given the impression that the US did not have secret prisons on foreign soil, Bot said. Bush’s statement was an ‘immense disappointment’ and has caused a ‘dent’ in the relationship between the two countries, he added. ‘The Netherlands does not accept that a system of secret prisons should remain intact,’ he said.
Bot told MPs that his US counterpart Condoleezza Rice had assured him earlier this week that the Netherlands was not being used for the secret CIA programme. However, she refused to say if other European countries were involved. NOS television news reported that Bot plans to push for a joint EU response to the US revelations.
During the debate, opposition parties strongly criticised the cabinet. ‘The Dutch government has turned a blind eye to human rights abuses,’ said Socialist MP Harry van Bommel
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