Henk Kamp eyed for new Defense Minister, Knapen for new FM
Henk Kamp (VVD) will be the new Minister of Defense, and Ben Knapen of the CDA the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, insiders told Dutch media. They will be replacing Ank Bijleveld and Sigrid Kaag respectively, both of whom stepped down last week after they were censured by parliament for the chaotic evacuation of people from Afghanistan after the county fell to the Taliban.
Kamp is somewhat of a remarkable choice. Not because he lacks experience - he was Minister of Social Affairs in the Rutte I cabinet, Minister of Economic Affairs in the Rutte II cabinet, and twice a minister in Jan Peter Balkende cabinets - but because news of his possible appointment came on the same day that King Willem-Alexander criticized the cabinet for its handling of Groningen earthquake victims his Budget Day speech. As Minister of Economic Affairs in Rutte II, Kamp was responsible for gas extraction in Groningen and financial relief for victims of the fracking earthquakes.
Knapen is currently a Senator and before that he was State Secretary of Foreign Affairs in the Rutte I cabinet. Knapen's appointment will come too late for him to attend the UN General Assembly in New York later this week. The Netherlands will be represented by Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Tom de Bruijn (D66), who was sworn in as Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation last month.