Foreign Minister Didier Reynders hopes that a debate will be held in parliament on the Belgian policy towards Saudi Arabia, he said after the cabinet meeting. Belgium’s attitude to the United Nations over the admission of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations Commission on Women’s Rights has provoked fierce controversy. The Saudi kingdom does not respect women’s rights, nor does it respect human rights in general.
In recent months, the issue of relations with this country, traditionally regarded as an important ally and trading partner, has been controversial.
It is important that we have a debate in Parliament on the lines of conduct we want to follow in all aspects and not just on one point. Our representatives in the world must know what the course of action of Belgium is”, Reynders said.
The minister submitted Friday to the restricted ministerial committee the modification of the procedure to be followed in case of a vote on candidatures to the United Nations. Until now, Belgium was sticking to the “clean slate” and supported the candidate since he was the only one to solicit the job. From now on, the decision will be taken at the political level. Particular attention will be given to coordination with other European countries. “We can not influence the course of events alone”, he said.