Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag Resigns Over Afghanistan Crisis

Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag resigned on Sept. 16 after a majority of the Dutch parliament formally condemned her handling of the Afghanistan evacuation crisis.

The Dutch parliament voted 78 to 72 to pass a motion of censure against Kaag,.

Although the motion of censure was directed against the entire Cabinet, Kaag was explicitly named to be ultimately responsible, the Netherlands Times reported.

“The House has decided that the government acted irresponsibly. And even though I stand firmly behind our efforts, I have no choice, as the responsible minister, but to accept the consequences of that decision,” Kaag said in her farewell statement in the Dutch House of Representatives.

“In my conception of democracy and our political culture, a minister is obliged to step down if their policy is censured,” Kaag further said.

A press officer confirmed to CNN that “such motions do not require immediate resignation. It was Sigrid Kaag’s own decision to resign.”

Kaag, who accepted the position just last May, said that Dutch efforts in Afghanistan will continue without her.

“I am convinced that the staff at the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense will keep up their outstanding work,” Kaag said.

The Dutch parliament also passed a second motion of censure against Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld, but he refused to resign.


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