Outgoing Defense Minister Ank Bijleveld respects the decision of her colleague Sigrid Kaag to resign as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

But she herself has "made a different personal assessment", the CDA minister said after the House of Representatives also passed a motion of censure against her.

She finds it "very unfortunate" that Kaag is leaving.

Bijleveld did not want to add anything to this.

The defense minister pointed out that under constitutional law a motion of censure is different from a motion of no confidence.

In the latter case, a minister must resign because the House no longer has confidence in the person concerned.

She also did not answer questions about the decision of coalition partner ChristenUnie to support the motions of censure, together with the entire opposition.

"I debated the content with the ChristenUnie. That is what I can say about it," said Bijleveld.

In a reaction, outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that Kaag's departure was "terrible".

He called Kaag - who is also a key player in the current formation talks - a "very big lady" who is also regarded as a highly regarded diplomat outside the national borders.

"The Netherlands had in her a very good, prominent, globally respected Minister of Foreign Affairs. So this is also a real loss for the Netherlands."

Rutte has also tried to keep Kaag for the cabinet, but Kaag refused to go back on her decision.

"I can only take note of that with respect."

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