- Title: DRC President pays first official visit to Belgium
- Date: 17th September 2019
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (SEPTEMBER 17, 2019) (REUTERS) DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO'S PRESIDENT FELIX TSHISEKEDI STEPPING OUT OF CAR AND BEING GREETED BY BELGIAN PRIME MINISTER CHARLES MICHEL TSHISEKEDI AND MICHEL WALKING IN BELGIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY ANNEX 'EGMONT PALACE' COURTYARD
- Embargoed: 1st October 2019 16:28
- Keywords: Felix Tshisekedi DRC Congo Belgium Charles Michel official visit signature protesters
- Location: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- City: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA001AX1RQKN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Felix Tshisekedi, began a four-day state visit to Belgium on Tuesday (September 17) in what is his first visit to Europe since he was elected in December.
Tshisekedi was greeted by Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and his foreign minister Marie Tumba Nzeza signed three cooperation agreements, including with Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders.
Belgian media said the agreements were aimed at ending a political crisis between the DRC and its former colonial ruler. The agreements included training of Congolese diplomats, reopening a Belgian consulate in Lubumbashi and a Congolese consulate in Antwerp, daily newspaper Le Soir said. On Wednesday, the Congolese premiere will visit the Belgian port of Antwerp.
Tuesday's meeting attracted some 150 protesters who held signs which read "Felix, national shame". Accusing the president of being corrupt, they marched in Brussels streets to the Egmont Palace, where Tshisekedi was meeting Michel, banging drums and chanting. They were stopped by the police who had set up barriers in the area.
Tshisekedi took over power in Congo's first peaceful transfer of power since independence from Belgium in 1960, defeating a candidate officially backed by former president Joseph Kabila, whose own term limit was up. Very few members of the new government cabinet have any administrative experience and roughly two thirds previously served in Kabila's coalition.
(Production: Christian Levaux, Yves Herman, Jorrit Donner-Wittkpof, Clement Rossignol)
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