D66 MP calls for national ban on nuclear weapons

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D66 parliamentarian Sjoerd Sjoerdsma is calling for a national ban on nuclear weapons. "We all know what devastating consequences the use of nuclear weapons can have and I think it is a good idea for the Netherlands to have a national ban on nuclear weapons", Sjoerdsma said to BNR.

He believes that next year's modernization drive of the nuclear weapons currently in the Netherlands is a good time to implement a ban.

The Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, is discussing an initiative for such a ban by peace organization PAX on Thursday. The D66 is supporting that initiative.

A majority in the Kamer wants the government to do more to prevent the possession and spread of nuclear weapons, but many parties hesitate to implement a national ban.

PvdA MP Michiel Servaes thinks now is not the right time for such a ban, given that the government is working on an international treaty to ban the weapons. "If you want to create an international treaty with a ban, it is questionable from diplomatic persuasion whether it is useful to implement an national ban in the mean time", he said to the broadcaster.

But Sjoerdsma thinks that an national ban will give Foreign Affairs Minister Bert Koenders more ammunition in the negotiations for an international ban. "We want to take initiative to get the world wide nuclear disarmament going a little bit."

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