MPs back Libyan mission as Dutch pledge to send planes

A majority of MPs back the cabinet’s decision to send aircraft and manpower to support monitoring the UN’s weapons embargo against Libya, it emerged on Wednesday.

The PvdA (Labour) supported the government but the anti-alliance partner PVV and the Socialists are opposed.
‘It would appear to be a very sensible approach. It is right that we are becoming involved like this,’ VVD MP Atzo Nicolaï said.
The PvdA’s defence spokesman Frans Timmermans said the party believed the Netherlands should contribute to efforts to ‘prevent the murder of the Libyan people,’ by colonel Gaddafi.
The Netherlands is to send six F16 fighter jets and 200 soldiers to take part in the Nato mission in Libya, the cabinet decided at an emergency meeting on Monday night.
A team of military officials are already heading for the region to assess which Mediterranean airports the Dutch planes will be based at, the Telegraaf reports.
The minesweeper HMS Haarlem, which is in the area on exercises, and a refueling plane will also join the Nato efforts to enforce the weapons embargo on the North African country.
The 200 military staff includes crew for AWACs surveillance aircraft and staff officers to lead the operation, the ministerial briefing said.
No bombing
The Dutch aircraft will fly under the Nato flag. Their task, which will last three months, is to monitor the weapons embargo and they will not shoot at targets on land or sea, defence chief Peter van Uhm told MPs.
If Nato also agrees to enforce the no-fly zone, Dutch equipment and soldiers will take part in that as well.
The Netherlands said on Monday it would not get involved in international efforts to restore order in Libya until formally requested to do so by Nato.

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