Didier Reynders meets with his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani
Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Didier Reynders received today his Qatari counterpart Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani at the Egmont Palace in Brussels. The two ministers exchanged views on bilateral relations, the fight against terrorism and its financing, the situation in the Gulf region and the state of human rights in Qatar.
Didier Reynders expressed the concerns of Belgium regarding the ongoing diplomatic crisis in the Gulf. Belgium calls for dialogue between the various parties, and supports the mediation undertaken by the Emir of Kuwait in order to reach a negotiated political solution. Although a solution within the Gulf Cooperation Council remains the preferred outcome, Belgium is willing, within a European framework, to assist in mediation if the parties to the crisis so wish.
The regional situation was also discussed, including the relations with Iran and the crises in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. In addition, the ministers discussed the situation of foreign workers in Qatar as the country prepares to host the 2022 World Cup.
Didier Reynders stresses that Belgium welcomes any initiative to combat terrorism and its financing, but that it is necessary to encourage all concerned parties to intensify their efforts in this field. It is important to distinguish, on the one hand, the financing of Islamic worship, educational centers and mosques for Muslim communities in European countries, and, on the other hand, the financing of terrorist activities. Belgium and Qatar wish to establish a bilateral mechanism to ensure the transparency of financial flows to religious institutions, in accordance with Belgian and European laws.
Finally, Didier Reynders expressed in the name of Belgium an interest for an upcoming visit by the Emir of Qatar. In addition to a meeting between the Heads of State, the visit would also include contacts with the Belgian government in order to continue the dialogue on a large range of common interest issues.