March 5, 2018 / 3:49 PM / 5 months ago

Dutch gov't. names former justice minister Blok as new foreign minister

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The Dutch government said on Monday it would appoint Stef Blok as foreign minister, replacing Halbe Zijlstra, who resigned last month after admitting he had lied about a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Blok, who had intended to leave politics after serving as justice minister in the previous cabinet, is a member of Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s governing VVD Party.

Although Blok led the VVD’s parliamentary faction from 2012-2015, he is not known to have any international political experience.

Zijlstra resigned on Feb. 13 after acknowledging he had fabricated a tale about having personally overheard Putin outline plans for territorial expansion during a private meeting outside Moscow.

Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Gareth Jones

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