Dutch government falls over Afghan mission

The Hague—The Dutch government collapsed Saturday, the prime minister said, after members of the coalition government failed to agree on a NATO request to extend the Netherlands’ military mission in Afghanistan.

"Later today, I will will offer to her majesty the Queen the resignations of the ministers and deputy ministers of the (Labor Party) PvdA," premier Jan Peter Balkenende told journalists in the early hours.

He made the announcement after the cabinet held more than 16 hours of talks in The Hague to try to settle the dispute.

The PvdA is one of three parties in the coalition government, with Balkenende’s Christian Democratic Appeal the senior partner.

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