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Mar 12,2008
Dutch minister downplays Afghan threat
by UPI

CANBERRA, Australia - The Netherlands' defense minister says the release of an anti-Islam film in his country would not create a security threat to Dutch troops in Afghanistan.

Eimert van Middelkoop said during a visit to Australia that Dutch forces in Uruzgan province would be on alert but did not expect any trouble despite Taliban pledges to cause trouble.

Van Middelkoop said the Dutch government disavowed any support for the movie by Geert Wilders and called it "an irresponsible act of provocation," according to Expatica.

Australia has about 1,000 troops operating alongside the Dutch in Uruzgan.

The Australian said Van Middlekoop also told his counterpart in Canberra that he expected civilians to take over the reconstruction tasks currently under the control of the military in about two years.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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