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Dutch Foreign Minister steps down for lying about meeting with Putin

IANS  |  The Hague 

Dutch resigned on Tuesday over lying about a 2006 meeting with Russian Vladimir Putin, ahead of a debate on his position in the Dutch lower house of parliament.

was supposed to fly to later on Tuesday for a meeting with his Russian colleague on Wednesday, reports

Before the debate in The Hague, Dutch opposition parties were questioning his credibility and argued could no longer function as Zijlstra concurred and announced his resignation.

"This is by far the biggest mistake in my political career," Zijlstra said, adding, "There is too much doubt about my functioning as Dutch This is my own decision."

After admitting on Monday to Dutch newspaper to have lied about the meeting with Putin, Zijlstra still received the support of and several parties.

However, his position became weaker on Tuesday after new revelations he not only lied about being present at a meeting with Putin, but also misinterpreted the words of the Russian

During a speech at a congress of his party the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) in May 2016, the current Dutch FM claimed to have attended a meeting with and that he heard the Russian talk about a "Great Russia".

Contrary to his earlier claims, Zijlstra admitted he was not present at the meeting and that the reason he made up the story about his presence was to protect his source.

This source appeared to be former Shell Jeroen van der Veer, who wrote in an email to on Tuesday that Zijlstra misinterpreted his words on



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, February 14 2018. 07:10 IST