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  • War in Afghanistan (2001-present)

image source, EPAimage captionSigrid Kaag said she accepted the government acted irresponsibly

Dutch Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag has resigned over her handling of the Afghan evacuation crisis last month.

She is the first Western government official to step down over the chaos that followed the Taliban takeover.

Dutch MPs had passed a motion of censure against her, saying the government was too slow to respond and left behind many Afghans who should have been able to flee.

Ms Kaag said she stood by her actions but accepted the MPs' verdict.

She acknowledged the government had been slow and muddled when reacting to warnings about a surge of the Taliban.

The Netherlands managed to evacuate around 2,000 people from Afghanistan in the last two weeks of August.

But hundreds of local staff and people who had worked as interpreters with Dutch troops were left behind.

Ms Kaag admitted the government had acted on the basis of "wrong assumptions", but insisted the Taliban's rapid rise to power had stunned everyone, "including the Taliban itself".

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Despite this, Ms Kaag said the MPs' vote left her with no choice but to step down from her post.

"Parliament has judged that the cabinet has not acted responsibly," Ms Kaag said. "The minister must go if the policy is rejected."

Ms Kaag remains the leader of the liberal D66 party which is currently involved in talks to form a new coalition government.

She is the first foreign minister to resign over the fallout of the Taliban's takeover.

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who was heavily criticised for remaining on holiday as Kabul fell to the militants, was replaced in a government reshuffle this week.

media captionBrigadier James Martin speaks about the UK's evacuation operation from Afghanistan