Dutch foreign minister quits over evacuation chaos in Afghanistan

September 17, 2021
File picture of  Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigrid Kaag.
File picture of Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigrid Kaag.

THE HAGUE — The Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Sigrid Kaag resigned on Thursday for her role in the evacuation of local embassy staff from Afghanistan.

Kaag announced her decision after a motion of disapproval against her was passed by a majority of parliament. "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."

The parliament held Kaag responsible for not picking up signals from the parliament 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 the majority of the parliament. There was also a lot of irritation 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 Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld also obtained a majority. But Bijleveld had already announced that she would remain as defense minister regardless of the vote, noting that "my priority is still to bring everyone who is still in Afghanistan to safety." — Agencies

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