2011-01-17 Dutch EU ambassador nominee Pieter de Gooijer comes under fire after WikiLeaks disclosures

Expatica.com reports that Labour MP Frans Timmermans is objecting to Mr Peter De Gooijer becoming the Dutch ambassador to the European Union, after messages from the US embassy in The Hague sourced from Wikileaks were reported in Dutch newspapers.

The challenge to De Gooijer comes days after he was named the top representative of the Netherlands at the EU last Friday, having until then served as director-general for political affairs at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. De Gooijer previously served as the counselor for political-military affairs for the Netherlands embassy in Washington 1994--97.

According to the cables cited by the newspapers, De Gooijer asked the US embassy to put pressure on the then Labour leader and deputy prime minister, Wouter Bos. He hoped Mr Bos would be pushed into agreeing to an extension of the Dutch military mission in Afghanistan.

Labour Party members want to know whether Mr De Gooijer was acting on his own initiative or on instructions from the then foreign minister, Maxime Verhagen, who is deputy prime minister under the present government. Mr Timmermans says that, even if acting on instructions from Mr Verhagen, the civil servant was still not expressing the official government position. Original article