Friday, November 25, 2005

Dutch foreign minister warns US on human rights abuses

THE HAGUE (AFX) - Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Bot today warned the US government that if it continued to 'hide' over reports of secret prisons in eastern Europe, Dutch contributions to US-led military missions could be affected, the ANP news agency reported.

'The US should stop hiding. It will all come out sooner or later," Bot told the Dutch parliament, according to ANP.

Bot added that the Americans 'are on the borderline' in their fight against terrorism. The minister would not say at what point the Netherlands might end their cooperation with the US.

'That remains a careful consideration of the importance of fighting terrorism weighed against the respect for human rights,' he said. He stressed that the Netherlands were still working with the US in several operations, in Afghanistan for example.

'We stress the fair treatment of prisoners and adherence to the Geneva Conventions,' the minister added.

The Dutch government is set to decide next week on a possible new mission to the Afghan province of Uruzgan involving 1,100 soldiers.

The Netherlands has contributed more than 1,000 troops to Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) deployed following the US-led war to oust the Taliban regime in late 2001.

My Source Forbes


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