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Michel to visit Washington

Published on 29/04/2004

29 April 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel will visit Washington at the end of the month in his first trip to the United States since the two countries came to diplomatic blows over the US invasion of Iraq, it was confirmed on Thursday.

Michel’s spokesman said his boss would meet with US foreign minister Colin Powell as well as with Madeleine Albright, Powell’s predecessor under former President Bill Clinton.

The Belgian Foreign Minster will also visit a number of influential Washington think tanks.

Belgium has made great efforts to patch up its relations with the US after they hit an all-time low during the run-up to the Iraq invasion. 

Michel and many other government ministers were outspoken critics of the war.

US-Belgian relations were further strained when several human rights groups tried to use a Belgian war crimes law to prosecute US President George W Bush and General Tommy Franks, the military commander in charge of the Iraq invasion.

Under intense diplomatic pressure from Washington the law was eventually modified and the charges dropped.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news