Minister Reynders meets with the Burundian government in Brussels

date: 09 July 2013

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders today met with the Second Deputy President of Burundi, Gervais Rufyikiri, and the Burundian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Laurent Kavakure, at the Egmont Palace in Brussels.

The Second Deputy President and the Minister of Foreign Affairs wished to explain to the Belgian government and public opinion the operation of the media law of 4 June. Minister Reynders is delighted with this transparency. This initiative follows the meeting that Didier Reynders had with his Burundian counterpart in Addis Ababa on 26 May during the African Union Summit. Minister Reynders reiterated his concerns about the restrictions on press freedom that could result from the application of the new media law. During the meeting, other legislative projects concerning civil rights and political freedoms in Burundi were raised.

The problems of economic governance and macro-economic stability in Burundi were also discussed. The Second Deputy President informed Minister Reynders of the preparations for the first sectoral post-Geneva conference which will take place on 15 and 16 July in Bujumbura. He invited Minister Reynders to take part in it. Didier Reynders urged the Burundian government to implement the reforms recommended by the IMF to strengthen the financial situation of the country. He also asked that the structural reforms be accelerated.

The Ministers and the Second Deputy President discussed development cooperation with Burundi following the special meeting of the Committee of Partners. During this conversation, emphasis was placed above all on the implementation by the Burundian authorities of the “National Strategy for Good Governance and Combating Corruption”.

The last subject of conversation was the regional situation. Minister Reynders stressed the importance of the Addis Ababa agreement, of regional integration and of dialogue in order to put an end to the recurring crises in the region.