Parliament votes against new Afghan mission

MPs voted by a large majority to pull Dutch troops out of Afghanistan as planned in August 2010 during a debate on Tuesday night.

The motion, drawn up by Labour and ChristenUnie from the ruling coalition, was not supported by the biggest coalition party, the Christian Democrats.
Labour introduced the motion following hints from CDA foreign affairs minister Maxime Verhagen last week that the Netherlands may stay after the planned withdrawal date.
According to the Volkskrant, Verhagen is furious at his coalition partner parties’ action. The US and Australia are keen to keep the Dutch involved in the southern province of Uruzgan and pressure is mounting on them to stay.
The Netherlands has some 1,500 soldiers on active service in the southern region of Uruzgan. In total 21 Dutch soldiers have been killed in the province since the mission began in 2006.

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