#PoliticoCD. | DRC-Belgium cooperation: André Flahaut in Kinshasa to “intensify” diplomatic relations between the two countries again

As the Democratic Republic of the Congo prepares to celebrate its 62 years of independence, against the backdrop of the return of the relics – finally returned by Belgium – of its very first Prime Minister, André Flahaut, Belgian Minister of State, is staying in Kinshasa since the evening of Sunday June 26, to “reintensify” diplomatic relations between his country and the DRC. In an interview granted to POLITICO.CD, this former Belgian Minister of Defense – at the origin of the Belgian-Congolese Military Partnership (PPM) program – and former President of the Belgian Parliament, indicates that his presence is intended as a real opportunity, during his parliamentary mission, to “re-create the distended links” between the parliaments of the two countries.

A visit, he confides, which follows on from that of the King of the Belgians recently to Kinshasa, Lubumbashi and Bukavu. In his agenda, André Flahaut plans in particular to continue contacts with the Congolese President and the Presidents of the Senate and the National Assembly.

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“This visit follows a first visit I made as head of interparliamentary relations between Congo and Belgium, the interparliamentary union, and I am also president of the sub-Saharan section of the interparliamentary union. We signed a protocol that has yet to be finalized. So one of the first aspects is contacts with President Bahati who signed in Brussels and President Mboso who will complete the work either here or in Brussels in the coming months. Then the contacts with the President of the Republic because this visit is also in the same wake as the royal visit which took place but also the restitution of the tooth of Patrice Emery Lumumba”, he declares to POLITICO.CD .

At the independence ceremonies as well as the burial of the relics of Patrice Emery Lumumba, André Flahaut will represent Belgium. In the same vein, he will also meet the Congolese Minister of Defence, the heads of the Belgian agency “Enabel”, the President of the electoral center and the promoters of development projects”.

“It is clear that my presence is also somewhere a form of official presence of the Belgian government for these ceremonies. I will no doubt see the Minister of Defence, I will also see the President of the CENI, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and also, as in the aspects of development cooperation, there is an important program which is being prepared. All this is happening in a logic of intensifying relations between the DRC and Belgium again. It is also part of a desire to see how partnerships are made. I will see the officials of ENABEL which is in a project for the police and defence. There are also project leaders who need to be met because there is a large diaspora in Belgium with Belgians of Congolese origin who are still present there and who have partnership projects,” announces André Flahaut.

The Democratic Republic of Congo and Belgium recently signed a Bilateral Interparliamentary Cooperation Protocol in Brussels, says a statement from the DRC Embassy in Belgium. The agreement which was signed, for the DRC, by the President of the Senate, Professor Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, and for Belgium, by the President of the House of Representatives, Eliane Tillieux, constitutes the framework of the partnership between the two institutions. and defines the field of intervention, specifies the text.

“This agreement will strengthen the institutional, technical and administrative capacities of deputies and senators and all the technical staff of the two parliaments,” said Professor Bahati.

Cooperation, he said, will be effective thanks in particular to the organization of official missions or working visits by parliamentarians, capacity building courses, scholarships and various other exchange missions. experiences and training.

The President of the Senate insisted on the need to put in place mechanisms for consolidating “ties of friendship through interparliamentary exchanges based on permanent dialogue”.

For her part, Ms. Tillieux was delighted that the new Belgian-Congolese interparliamentary cooperation agreement “clearly stipulates that the presidents of parliaments must ensure respect for the male/female balance during the missions that will be undertaken “.

“When they function well, national parliaments play a crucial role in holding governments to account and can also act as relays for human rights defenders and civil society,” said Ms. Tillieux, according to the press release.

During his stay in Belgium, the Senate Speaker also met with the Belgian Prime Minister, Alexander de Croo, on the situation in the DRC, in the presence of the DRC Ambassador to BENERLUX, Christian Ndongala Nkuku, and of the Minister of State and former President of the Belgian House of Representatives, André Flahaut, who negotiated this Protocol of Cooperation together with the President of the Belgian group at the Parliamentary Union, Samuel Cogolati, adds the press release.

Stephie MUKINZI M

Source: PoliticoCD.

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