The Dutch Foreign Ministry said Friday it would be temporarily chaired by the country's incumbent Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Tom de Bruijn, after Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag lost a no confidence vote in parliament over the planning of evacuations from Afghanistan
PARIS (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 17th September, 2021) The Dutch Foreign Ministry said Friday it would be temporarily chaired by the country's incumbent Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Tom de Bruijn, after Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag lost a no confidence vote in parliament over the planning of evacuations from Afghanistan.
Earlier this week, the lower house of the Dutch parliament passed a vote of no confidence in Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag and Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld, due to the poor organization of the evacuation. Kaag resigned shortly after the vote. Bijleveld initially said she would not quit her post regardless of the result of the vote, but subsequently tendered her resignation.
"Until a new Minister of Foreign Affairs is appointed, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Tom de Bruijn will temporarily lead the Ministry of Foreign Affairs," the foreign ministry said.
According to the Volkskrant newspaper, the Dutch government neglected staff evacuation requests its embassy in Kabul had been sending since the spring, when foreign forces began their withdrawal from Afghanistan. As evinced by correspondence obtained by the newspaper, the diplomats had been asking the government in The Hague to prepare for a quick evacuation of the staff if the Taliban (banned as a terrorist organization in Russia) seized power in Afghanistan. On May 11, the embassy staff addressed the prime minister's office and begged to be evacuated along with their family members as they feared for their lives. However, the government kept postponing the decision on evacuation of the Afghan staff.
The Taliban entered Kabul on August 15, as foreign troops were still finishing their evacuation. As a result, foreign citizens and Afghans rushed to the airport in an attempt to leave. Many Afghans who worked for the foreign forces expressed the fear of reprisals.
Some of the Dutch embassy's employees, as well as interpreters and other Afghans who worked with the Dutch, remain in Afghanistan.