Former Dutch Prime Minister Dries van Agt and his wife die at the age of 93 “holding hands”

Christian Democrat Dries Van AgtThe Dutch prime minister between 1977 and 1982, and known for decades of activism for Palestinian rights, has died at the age of 93 after a long period of fragile health, it was announced Friday. Rights ForumA knowledge center about Israel and Palestine, founded by the politician himself.

Although the family waited until today to make his death public, Van Agt and his wife They died together and “hand in hand” in their hometown last Monday. nijmegen, three days after the politician would have turned 93. According to the institute, which announced the news on behalf of the couple’s relatives, the two were the same age and had already been buried.

Couple were together for more than 70 years and Van Agt’s health Was in a very delicate condition for the last few years, especially after suffering brain hemorrhage In 2019.

“He mr van egt He became well known as a politician and for his commitment to the Palestinian people. During his political career he was Minister of Justice (1971–1977) and Minister of Foreign Affairs (1982). As Prime Minister, he led three cabinets between 1977 and 1982. From 1987 to 1995 he served as Ambassador of the European Community to Japan and the United States,” he summarized. Rights ForumAbout its founder in 2009 and chairman until 2015.

Van Agt entered politics in the late 1960s when the Catholic People’s Party (KVP) asked him to help draft the party’s new electoral programme, which merged with two other parliamentary parties to form the Christian Democratic Party in 1980. Merged with groups. CDA.

Through various governments in his time heresponsible for dutch politics tolerance to cannabis use and, in 2018, at the age of 86, he smoked for the first time in his life to overcome the urge Netherlands Legalizing this drug, instead of implementing the current policy of tolerance.

In July 2021, he resigned from his CDA membership after more than fifty years because of what he believed to be “anger at the party’s brutal policy towards Palestinians.” “It is with sadness that I bid you farewell,” he wrote, accusing the party of ignoring “the enormous suffering inflicted on the Palestinian people.”

The Palestinian government gave them permission three years ago Grand Star of the Order of Jerusalem For his efforts in seeking a peaceful resolution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, to which he has devoted efforts since his visit to the West Bank in 1999.

Van Agt expressed his views on the subject in several speeches, articles and two books, and criticized subsequent Dutch governments for not demanding respect for human rights. relations with israel,

Mark Rutte, head of the current caretaker government, gave this assurance van egtwhom he always described as his “great-grandfather” as Prime Minister, “gave color and substance to Dutch politics at a time of polarization and partisan renewal” and stressed that the two met each other “regularly They spoke and wrote and received. From him “honest and kind advice.”

Van Agt was a former Dutch Prime Minister The oldest since the death of fellow Christian Democrat Piet de Jong in 2016 at the age of 101.

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