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Belgium may lose land to Germany due to disused railway line

Brussels (dpa) – Officials in eastern Belgium fear losing part of their territory to neighbouring Germany due to the dismantling of a disused railway line running along the border of the two countries, local Belgian daily Le Jour Verviers reported Wednesday.

Parts of the railway line, shut down since 2001, cross through Germany.

When the Treaty of Versailles of 1919 mapped a new German-Belgian border after World War I, it allocated the railway’s immediate surroundings, including stations, to the Kingdom of Belgium, thus creating five Belgian enclaves in German territory.

But local officials now fear that since the railway line is being dismantled, Belgium may have to return several square kilometres of its territory to its neighbour.

Marcel Lejoly, a government representative in the Belgian district of Eupen, Malmedy and Saint-Vith, said he planned to inform the Belgian foreign ministry about his concerns.