Friday 22 November 2019

US will help repatriate Dutch jihadis, ambassador Hoekstra says

Photo: Depositphotos.com

The Dutch suggestion that jihadis can be tried and sentenced in Iraq is a non-starter and the only solution is to bring them home, the US ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra has told the NRC in an interview.

The US remains willing to help repatriate people who went to fight in Syria, Hoekstra said, adding that ‘we believe these individuals are least dangerous if they are back in their home country.’

The Netherlands has repeatedly rejected the US offer and foreign minister Stef Blok has been pressing for an EU tribunal in Iraq. ‘We have seen a lot of discussions and talking, but nothing anywhere near reaching an agreement with Iraq,’ Hoekstra said.

The current cease fire in northern Syria, may be the last opportunity to take action against European jihadis, Hoekstra told the paper. ‘Taking them back is the only realistic option,’ he said, warning that they could end up out of the picture when fighting resumes.

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