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Dutch FM quits over Afghanistan evacuation

Parliament held Kaag responsible for not picking up signals from it and from embassy staff in Afghanistan that an emergency situation was about to arrive

IANS | Copenhagen |

The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigrid Kaag has resigned for her role in the evacuation of embassy staff from Afghanistan.

Kaag announced her decision on Thursday after a motion of disapproval against her was passed by a majority of Parliament, reports Xinhua news agency.

“The House judges that the cabinet has acted irresponsibly,” Kaag said.

“Although I stand by our commitment, I can only accept the consequences of this judgment as the Minister with ultimate responsibility.”

Parliament held Kaag responsible for not picking up signals from it and from embassy staff in Afghanistan that an emergency situation was about to arrive.

As a result not everyone could be evacuated in time and local embassy personnel ran into “serious danger”, according to parliament.

There was also a lot of criticism about the late and incomplete provision of information to the parliament.

Officially, a Minister does not have to resign following a motion of disapproval.

The motion of disapproval against Defence Minister Ank Bijleveld also obtained a majority.

But Bijleveld had already announced that she would remain in the post regardless of the vote, noting that “my priority is still to bring everyone who is still in Afghanistan to safety”.