In an introductory meeting, Belgium’s new foreign minister Didier Reynders and Dutch foreign minister Uri Rosenthal have agreed to step up their Benelux partnership. Belgium is the Netherlands’ largest trading partner in the world after Germany, and the Netherlands is Belgium’s second-largest trading partner worldwide.
The two ministers also agreed to work together and seek common positions in the European Union. Mr Reynders and Mr Rosenthal stressed that the EU sanctions against Syria and Iran need to be tightened up.
Mr Rosenthal also expressed his support for Liège’s candidacy to host Expo 2017.
The Belgian foreign minister took the opportunity as well to meet European affairs minister Ben Knapen. Mr Reynders and Mr Knapen discussed the current EU agenda: the debt crisis, the multi-annual budget and other topics being addressed by the informal European Council meeting later this month. They agreed that Netherlands and Belgium will continue working as Benelux partners to resolve the debt crisis and strengthen the European economy.