The Christian Democrat party CDA – one of the two coalition partners in the minority cabinet – wants guarantees that navy vessels on anti-piracy missions off the Somali coast will always be equipped with a helicopter.
CDA MP Raymond Knops wants Defence Minister Hans Hillen to include this point in his proposal for continued Dutch participation in anti-piracy operations in Somalian waters.
Minister Hillen has already said that the supply ship HNLMS Zuiderkruis – which has an on-board helicopter – will take part in the EU anti-piracy operation Atalanta from September to November.
The minister has indicated that a number of other vessels, which are to take part in Atalanta and in the NATO mission Ocean Shield, are to be equipped with helicopters as well.
Following a report in newspaper De Telegraaf, Mr Knops said the minister’s “intention was insufficient” and demanded guarantees.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide