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Prince calms royal godfather furore

Published on 11/02/2004

11 February 2004

BRUSSELS – Belgium’s Prince Laurent on Tuesday moved to avoid a potentially damaging diplomatic row between his country and Iran, that was linked to his possible choice of a godfather for his newly born daughter.

Rumours were circulating earlier this week that Laurent night choose the son of the former Shah of Iran to be his daughter Louise’s godfather.

Such a move would have seriously angered the current Islamic fundamentalist regime in Teheran, which is this year celebrating 25 years of the Shah’s overthrow by Ayatollah Khomeni. It could also have threatened the delicate negotiations currently underway between Belgium and Iran over the fate of two young Belgian girls currently seeking refuge in the Belgian embassy in Tehran.

On Tuesday the Belgian royal family issued a terse statement saying Laurent had not yet chosen Louise’s godfather.

“Prince Laurent is indeed considering the possibility of choosing a Muslim godparent for his daughter but as the date of the baptism has not even been set yet he has made no firm choice. The Prince regrets that rumours on this subject have appeared in the media,” the statement read.

On Tuesday morning Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel said choosing the Shah’s son as a royal godfather could “pose a diplomatic problem”.

Analysts argue the Prince’s subsequent statement may well have followed a frank exchange of views between the Royal place and the country’s chief diplomat.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Belgian news