The Dutch government collapsed over disagreement on its involvement in Afghanistan, the prime minister’s office said.
The collapse of the Christian Democrat, Labour, ChristenUnie government was inevitable, opposition party leaders said in their initial reactions.
After several days of marathon discussions, Labor Party members quit the coalition government.
News of the Cabinet dissolving followed speculation that the political squabble over Afghanistan could not be settled.
The Netherlands has roughly 2,000 troops serving in Afghanistan’s Oruzgan province as part of NATO’s International Security and Assistance Force. The Dutch government extended the military mission by two years back in 2007.
Deputy Prime Minister Wouter Bos, leader of the Labour Party, opposed fulfilling NATO’s request to extend the mission again.
Bos said that the current Afghanistan policy was not sustainable, according to the official ANP news agency.
The Christian Democratic Alliance, Labour Party and Christian Union entered into a coalition agreement in 2007 but have disagreed on several issues including Afghanistan.
The debating champions of the Netherlands can now enjoy an early vacation.
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