MPs finally vote to stay in Uruzgan,

A majority of MPs last night backed the cabinet’s plans to extend the Dutch military mission in Afghanistan to 2010.

MPs from the three coalition parties, the Liberals and the orthodox Christian SGP backed the cabinet.
Defence minister Eimert van Middelkoop said there was ‘robust parliamentary support’ for the mission, which was an important boost for both the army and on the home front.
Foreign affairs minister Maxime Verhagen admitted that the decision was not backed by the general public but said this was the case with other cabinet decisions as well.
‘We are convinced the Netherlands can make a difference,’ he told news agency ANP. ‘And that must become visible during this extended mission.’
Around 30% of the public support the Dutch efforts in Afghanistan, according to a defence ministry poll.
Dutch military chief Dick Berlijn said he was glad a decision had now been aken. ‘Commanders like to know the situation as far in advance as possible,’ he told ANP.

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