Soldiers to practise conversation skills in multicultural Amsterdam

Dutch solders are to spend several days next week practising their conversational skills in the multicultural districts of West and Nieuw-West Amsterdam, the Parool reports on Friday.

The Parool says the defence minister thinks it important that soldiers who will have to communicate with locals during foreign missions can practice ‘in a live environment’.

Between 30 and 40 soldiers will be involved in the training exercises and will hold talks with local officials, police and community organisations.

The districts have been chosen because of their cultural mix and will form a ‘fictitious mission locality’. The soldiers will have to take into account political, religious, cultural, economic and humanitarian differences while practising their techniques, the Parool says.

Soldiers will wear a military suit rather than battle dress so locals do not think their neighbourhoods have been occupied.

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