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Blok returns to Dutch cabinet to replace minister who admitted lying about meeting Putin

Stef Blok is returning to the Dutch cabinet to replace Halbe Zijlstra as the foreign minister. Zijlstra resigned on February 13 after it emerged that he had lied about being at a business meeting at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s dacha. Blok, 53, quit politics five months ago and it is the second time the politician has been asked to step in to clean up after a colleague has fallen from grace, DutchNews said. Two years ago he took over as justice minister after a corruption scandal. Blok spent five years as housing minister, and in October last year he announced he was leaving national politics after being overlooked for a post in Mark Rutte’s new coalition government. The new minister is considered to have little direct experience of foreign affairs.