Afghanistan

The Netherlands supports Afghanistan elections

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The Netherlands is sending a marine battalion to Afghanistan to help safeguard security during the elections in September. The marines will be deployed in the northern provinces from August until late October.

At present, the Dutch marines serve under NATO which is in command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. ISAF has been active there since 2001.

NATO wants to deploy additional resources and units for the forthcoming parliamentary and provincial elections on 18 September 2005. The Government has taken this decision in response.

Reconstruction team

The Government has also decided to prolong deployment of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) for one year until October 2006. The Netherlands has been leading a PRT in the Afghani province of Baghlan since October 2004. The reconstruction teams are helping the Afghani authorities to promote stability and security. The decision is the result of positive experience with the PRT.

Maritime

The Netherlands is participating in Operation Enduring Freedom as part of the fight against terrorism. The Netherlands is again contributing to the maritime component of the operation with a frigate, a supply ship, and a submarine which will be stationed in the waters around the Arabian peninsula.