CDA statesman Wijffels backs Iraq inquiry

Prominent Christian Democrat statesman Herman Wijffels has added his voice to calls for a parliamentary inquiry to events surrounding the Netherlands’ political support for the war in Iraq, the NRC reports.

Wijffels, who put together the current coalition government, told an IKON tv programme on Sunday night that “if things happened and you think later: should that have happened, it is always sensible to see if you can learn lessons from it”.
The Labour party was strongly in favour of an inquiry into Iraq but dropped its demand during the coalition formation process. The CDA was and still is opposed. Wijffels would not say if he had been involved in getting Labour to drop its demand, the paper said.
Last week, it emerged that Liberal senators no longer oppose an inquiry. Senators are angry at the inadequate replies that ministers sent to questions about events in 2003 earlier this month.
Those questions focus on the legal case for the American and British invasion, Dutch civil service advice and Dutch security service doubts about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
If supplementary questions do not receive a satisfactory answer, a majority of senators will press for an inquiry.
Prime minister Jan Pieter Balkenende has repeatedly said that Saddam Hussein had not conformed to UN resolutions and that is why Iraq was invaded. The Netherlands gave political but not military support to the US and British action.

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