Dutch MPs negative on Bouterse

(De Ware Tijd) THE HAGUE – The Bouterse regime is a very complicated factor for the Netherlands. Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Uri Rosenthal made this remark during the Suriname debate of the Lower House this Tuesday. The remark came after several House members made all kinds of negative statements about Desi Bouterse on the one hand, but stated on the other hand that relations with Suriname at the level of civil society must be continued. Rosenthal also said that the Netherlands is keeping its eyes and ears wide open for the problems in Suriname’s police and judiciary. Suriname is and will stay important to the Netherlands, he said further. The Suriname debate seemed to revolve around Desi Bouterse. The first speaker, Louis Bontes (PVV) set the tone by claiming that Suriname still is a major transit point for drugs and weapons, and that this was due to the alleged involvement of President Bouterse and his son Dino in the trade. Bontes expressed concerns about the ties between Bouterse and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. According to him, Suriname is degenerating into a “banana republic”. In reaction to Bontes’s statements, Harry van Bommel (SP) reminded the PVV member of the Dutch government’s view of the current Surinamese government, namely that the election results will be respected, the Netherlands maintains business-like ties with Suriname and that the new Surinamese government will be judged by its deeds.

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