Belgium, Congo normalize diplomatic relations during visit


Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, center right, and Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Tshisekedi, center left, review the troops during an arrival ceremony at the Egmont Palace in Brussels, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

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BRUSSELS (AP) — Officials from Belgium and Congo have signed agreements aimed at normalizing relations between the former European colonial power and the Africa nation during an official visit of Congolese President Felix Tshisekedi to Belgium.

Belgium’s foreign affairs ministry said officials met Tuesday to agree to restore their ambassadors in both countries as they tried to put an end to a two-year diplomatic crisis that was triggered by the perceived interference of Belgium in Congo’s internal affairs.

The memorandum signed by Belgium Foreign Minister Didier Reynders and his Congolese counterpart Marie Tumba Nzeza also includes the reopening of consulates, regular bilateral consultations and a program aimed at training Congolese diplomats.

The ministry’s office said the deals “demonstrate the willingness of both countries to strengthen their relations on the diplomatic level.”

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