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Belgian Minister Arrives This Week

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd January 2001 03:00 AM

BELGIAN foreign minister Louis Michel is scheduled to tour Uganda and five other African countries to discuss the uncertain situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following the assassination of President Laurent Kabila last week.

BELGIAN foreign minister Louis Michel is scheduled to tour Uganda and five other African countries to discuss the uncertain situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) following the assassination of President Laurent Kabila last week. Billie O'Kadameri in Paris reports that the Belgian government said in a statement distributed to the European press that Michel, the country's deputy Prime Minister, will attend the state funeral for Kabila in Kinshasa today before embarking on a tour of Uganda, Rwanda, Angola, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Gabon to meet key regional leaders about the Congo. The statement from the foreign ministry in Brussels said the visit was aimed at promoting "reconciliation in the framework of the Lusaka Agreement" whose slow progress had been largely blamed on intransigence of the slain Congolese leader. Belgium foreign ministry spokesman Koen Vervaeke, however, maintained that it was rather difficult to say whether Kabila's death presented a window of opportunity for improving the political situation in Congo "but we have to seize the momentum to try to revitalise the Lusaka accord and the inter-Congolese dialogue," he said. Belgium has in the past been partly blamed for the stubborn stance exhibited by Kabila towards the Lusaka accord, when the former colonial master admitted to encouraging parallel peace initiatives. Six countries have been drawn to the war. Ends

Belgian Minister Arrives This Week

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