Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN, United States

Rosenthal: approach in Afghanistan unchanged

The Netherlands and its international partners will continue to work for a stable and safe Afghanistan. ‘Recent incidents illustrate the complexity of the situation in Afghanistan, but have not changed the international community’s strategic approach,’ said foreign minister Uri Rosenthal during the parliamentary debate on Afghanistan.

The security situation in Afghanistan has become more tense in recent months following a series of incidents, including the burning of Korans on an American military base and the killing of 16 civilians in Kandahar by an American soldier. Mr Rosenthal says that the long-term course has not changed; Afghan leadership and ownership are still central.

The minister also acknowledged the importance of transferring responsibility for security and stability to the Afghan government. A full-strength Afghan government is now in office. ‘This government must now prioritise existing agreements on good governance, the rule of law and the fight against corruption,’ Mr Rosenthal said. ‘Afghanistan will have a stable future if people see that the government can maintain public order and respect human rights. Only then can a transfer be successful. The Netherlands is helping to achieve this. A stable Afghanistan is in the interests of us all.’