Didier Reynders meets his Saudi counterpart Adel Al-Jubeir
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders received, this Thursday 20 July 2017 at the Egmont Palace, his Saudi counterpart Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir. The two Ministers exchanged on bilateral relations, the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, the fight against terrorism, and the regional situation.
Didier Reynders presented Belgium's concerns about the issues of radicalisation, the spread of extremist ideologies, and the support and financing of terrorism. The two Ministers agreed on the need to continue this dialogue at the level of the competent Belgian and Saudi experts and services. The human rights situation in Saudi Arabia, particularly the status of women and the death penalty, were also discussed. Didier Reynders referred to specific cases, and expressed concern about the sentencing of minors to the death penalty. Dialogue on these issues should be continued both at the bilateral level and in international fora, such as the United Nations.
Finally, the Ministers exchanged views on the regional situation and the conflicts in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, the Middle East peace process, the relationship with Iran and the measures taken by some countries against Qatar. Didier Reynders expressed his concern about the humanitarian situation in Yemen and stressed the need to reach a negotiated political solution. Concerning the ongoing diplomatic crisis in the Gulf, the Minister recalled that Belgium calls on all the actors concerned to make efforts in the fight against terrorism and its financing, and that a resumption of the dialogue within the Gulf Cooperation Council is encouraged, among others through the Kuwaiti mediation. Didier Reynders also indicated that Belgium supports the principle of freedom of the press, but that incitement to hatred cannot be tolerated.