Rutte regrets Dutch foreign minister’s resignation over Kabul crisis




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Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte on Friday, expressed regret after Foreign Minister, Sigrid Kaag resigned.

Kaag resigned, following criticism for the country’s failure to evacuate local from Afghanistan.

Kaag stepped down the previous day, after parliament backed a censure motion against her, with 78 in favour and 72 against, blaming her for the fact that Afghan employees had been evacuated from Kabul.

Governments worldwide scrambled to airlift their citizens and local from Kabul after the Taliban seized power in a month ago.

Rutte said he very much regretted Kaag’s resignation and that he had great respect for her and her decision.

“I think it’s really terrible,’’ he said.

Rutte headed to London on Friday for talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

He was originally due to be accompanied by Kaag.

She was only acting minister and had only been in the post since May.

A new coalition government had yet been formed since the parliamentary elections in March.

No successor had yet been appointed for Kaag.

After hotly debating the failures of the evacuation, the Dutch parliament adopted two censure motions, with the other concerning Christian Democratic Defence Minister, Ak Bijleveld, who decided to remain in office.

After the censures, Kaag said, “Your Parliament judges that the Cabinet has acted irresponsibly. I can therefore do nothing but accept the consequences.’’

Her resignation may affect the coalition talks that were currently being held.

Rutte and Kaag had planned to meet the Christian Democrats during the weekend for exploratory talks about forming a minority government.

Rutte’s centre-right People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), emerged as the winner of the March parliamentary elections, followed by Kaag’s liberal Democrats 66 (D66).

At least four parties would be needed to form a majority coalition.

(NAN)