The Dutch cabinet has dissolved after Labor Party members left the government coalition over proposals to extend the Afghanistan mission for its 2,000 troops fighting there. "The Dutch government collapsed early Saturday over disagreement on its involvement in Afghanistan, the prime minister's office said.
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."