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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 February 2007, 10:45 GMT
Row over Dutch Muslim ministers
By Geraldine Coughlan
BBC News, The Hague

Ahmed Aboutaleb
Ahmed Aboutaleb is the new state secretary for social affairs
The appointment of two Muslim politicians to the new Dutch cabinet has reawakened a row in the country over dual nationality.

Nebahat Albayrak and Ahmed Aboutaleb are both Dutch passport holders, but also have Turkish and Moroccan passports respectively.

Right-wing opposition parties want to see an end to dual nationality.

The row has led to a call for Princess Maxima, the wife of the Crown Prince, to give up her Argentine nationality.

Ahmed Aboutaleb, from Morocco, is the State Secretary for Social Affairs in the new cabinet.

Nebahat Albayrak is Turkish and becomes the State Secretary for Justice.

Lowered popularity

They are the first Muslims to reach the heart of Dutch politics. The opposition right-wing Freedom Party has objected to the new centrist government being allowed to have members with dual nationality.

The outgoing right-wing Integration Minister, Rita Verdonk, said Princess Maxima, who is married to the heir to the Dutch throne, Prince Willem Alexander, should give up her Argentine passport.

Opinion polls show the row over dual nationality has lowered the popularity of the new government.

But Ahmed Aboutaleb is credited with helping immigrants to find jobs as well as pushing for more integration.




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