Centrist Dutch party opens door to 4-party coalition talks

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THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Drawn-out talks to form a new Dutch ruling coalition have been given a boost. The leader of the country’s second-biggest party said Thursday she is prepared to begin negotiations to re-form the same four-party Cabinet whose resignation in January triggered a general election. The statement by former foreign minister Sigrid Kaag, leader of the centrist D66 party, appeared to open the way for the start of formal talks on a new coalition expected to be led by caretaker Prime Minister Mark Rutte. D66, Rutte’s party and the Christian Democrats were meeting Thursday to discuss progress in more than six months of on-off coalition talks. Rutte entered the talks without speaking to waiting reporters.

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