Thursday 09 December 2021

Speculation starts about who will be the new Dutch foreign minister


Sigrid Kaag, minister for foreign trade and development, is taking over the job as foreign minister pending the appointment of a new VVD department chief, following the resignation of Halbe Zijlstra.

Insiders say it could be two weeks before a replacement for Zijlstra, who stepped down after admitting to lying about a meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin, is found. Prime minister Mark Rutte has also said he will take his time about appointing a new foreign minister.

Among the names currently circulating is MP Han ten Broek, 48, who has been in the lower house since 2006 and is the party’s spokesman on foreign affairs.

Hans van Baalen, a former MP who is now a member of the European parliament, is another option, the Volkskrant said. Van Baalen, the paper points out, has plenty of foreign experience.

Other options, the Volkskrant says, could include former health minister Edith Schippers, who has left politics but does not have another job, and Jeanine Hennis, the defence minister who quit after a critical report.

According to the NRC, Hennis had been Rutte’s candidate for the job before she was forced to stand down during the cabinet formation period.

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