Friday 14 May 2021

Dutch consider sending troops to Afghanistan for Nato mission

The cabinet is considering sending some 100 Dutch soldiers to Afghanistan to help train Afghan police officers and soldiers, the Volkskrant says on Monday.

The 100 Dutch soldiers would form part of the 12,500 strong Nato mission named Resolute Support, the Volkskrant states. Nato is planning to set up the mission to ensure Islamic extremists do not take over the country when the 50,000 strong ISAF mission completes its withdrawal at the end of this year.

The paper says Nato foreign affairs ministers could agree to the mission this week but have a conference on July 9 as a deadline. A source said Dutch foreign minister Frans Timmermans had not yet taken a position.

North

The Dutch soldiers would be based in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif where German soldiers would also be based. The US would supply the bulk of the troops for the mission.

A precondition for the mission is that the new Afghan president signs a peace and security pact. Both presidential candidates have agreed to this, the paper says.

Dutch soldiers are currently active in Mali, on the Turkish border with Syria and in the anti-piracy campaign off the Somali coast.

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