Congo hopes for new Belgian foreign minister

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Congolese president Joseph Kabila says replacing Karel De Gucht as foreign minister is a desirable option.

18 July 2008

BELGIUM - In an interview with the French-speaking public broadcaster RTBF, Congolese president Joseph Kabila has said that replacing Karel De Gucht as Foreign Minister would not be a bad idea.

Joseph Kabila was speaking in Paris, where he met the CEO's of major companies like Suez and Bouygues Télécom.

Belgium is afraid Kabila prefers French investors over Belgian investors as he is looking for ways to further develop his country. No details were released on possible deals.

Relations between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Belgium have been strained recently after some critical remarks made by Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht.

Kabila told the RTBF that Congo and Belgium still maintain contacts, but that he also eagerly awaits the formation of a new Belgian government.

Asked whether he would want Belgium to have a new Foreign Minister, he answered: "That would be desirable."

De Gucht's spokesman does not want to react to Mr Kabila's quote.

[ / Expatica]

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