Dutch foreign minister resigns over Afghanistan evacuation

Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag announced his resignation after parliament reprimanded the government for its poor handling of the evacuation in Afghanistan.

Sigrid Kaag resigned on September 16, the first Western official to lose her job because of the chaotic developments in Afghanistan after the Taliban took over Kabul on August 15. The Dutch parliament rebuked the government for reacting too slowly and leaving behind many Afghan nationals in need of rescue.

Responding to reprimands from parliament, Kaag still defended his decisions. She acknowledged the government’s slow and incoherent response to warnings about the Taliban’s advance.

In the second half of August, the Netherlands successfully evacuated about 2,000 people from Afghanistan, but left behind hundreds of local staff and interpreters.

Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag speaks in The Hague on April 2.  Photo: Reuters.

Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag speaks in The Hague on April 2. Photo: Reuters.

“The National Assembly has concluded that the cabinet acted irresponsibly. The minister is forced to leave if the policy is rejected,” she shared about her decision to resign.

Kaag said the Dutch government was slow to act due to misjudgment. However, she noted that the Taliban’s rapid advance has surprised the world and that the force itself did not expect such a quick victory.

The former Dutch foreign minister remains the leader of the D66 party. The left-wing political group is negotiating to form a new government.

Before Sigird Kaag, the British government also changed foreign ministers after the controversy surrounding the evacuation from Afghanistan. However, the personnel change is part of a cabinet reorganization for Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Dominic Raab, who used to hold the position of foreign secretary of the UK, has been transferred to become the UK’s deputy prime minister despite pressure to resign from the opposition party.

Trung Nhan (Follow BBC)


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