PM Leterme's first NATO summit
Summit at Bucharest will be the prime minister’s first sortie onto the international stage.2 April 2008
BELGIUM - Wednesday is something of a special day for Belgian prime minister Yves Leterme, a Flemish Christian democrat. It will be the new PM's first sortie onto the international stage as he attends the NATO summit in the Romanian capital Bucharest.
The foreign minister Karel De Gucht is accompanying Leterme to the summit, as is the Defence Minister Pieter De Crem
At the three-day summit, Leterme will reaffirm Belgium's commitment to sending four extra F-16 fighter jets and 140 extra soldiers to Southern Afghanistan.
However, he will stress that no additional Belgian military personnel will be sent to the Central Asian country.
Leterme believes that as well as keeping the peace, it is important that the Belgian troops are able to carry out work that will improve the lives of the Afghan people in the medium term.
However, speaking before leaving for Bucharest, Leterme told journalists that he couldn't yet say how long Belgian troops will remain in Afghanistan.
[Copyright flandersenews.be 2008 / photo by VRT]