Netherlands extends commitment to NATO operation in Libya

Netherlands extends commitment to NATO operation in Libya

The Netherlands is extending its commitment to Operation Unified Protector in Libya.

The six Dutch F-16s and the minehunter HNLMS Haarlem will continue to play their part. The Netherlands will also make a contribution in response to a NATO call for additional capacity in areas including psychological operations, media relations, and legal expertise. In total, the Netherlands will be deploying more than 200 military personnel.

The Cabinet has agreed to this deployment following a proposal by foreign minister Uri Rosenthal and defence minister Hans Hillen.

The Netherlands has been contributing to the operation since late March 2011. On 1 June 2011, NATO decided to extend Operation Unified Protector by three months.

The operation is intended to protect civilians, monitor compliance with the arms embargo, and enforce the no-fly zone over Libya. Military action is still necessary because the Gaddafi regime is still threatening the civilian population.

The Government believes that the military operation can do no more than create the conditions for a sustainable political solution. Colonel Gaddafi clearly no longer enjoys any legitimacy. The political efforts of the international community are aimed at supporting a peaceful transition to stability, democracy, and the rule of law in Libya.

The Dutch F-16s, which are helping maintain the no-fly zone over Libya, are not carrying out bombing missions. The minehunter HNLMS Haarlem is patrolling off the coast to help enforce the arms embargo. The Dutch contribution will also fill gaps in NATO’s staffing capacity.


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