Dutch minister tackles asbestos ship dispute

Dutch Environment Secretary Pieter van Geel was to hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Osman Pepe in Turkey on Monday in an attempt to resolve a dispute about a ship containing 54 tons of asbestos.

The Otapan, which had been lying in Amsterdam since 1999, left on July 28 under tow for Aliaga, north of Izmir, where it was to have been broken up, but Turkish authorities denied it permission to dock.

The ship is currently off the Turkish coast.

The 40-year-old ship’s documentation approved by the Dutch authorities stated it contained only 1000kg of asbestos.