Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Europe

Former journalist replaces Sophie Wilmès as Belgian foreign minister

Former journalist Hadja Lahbib is Belgium’s new foreign minister, replacing Sophie Wilmès, the Francophone liberal party Mouvement réformiste (MR) announced Friday.

Lahbib’s appointment by MR president Georges-Louis Bouchez came as a surprise given that she has virtually no political experience. She worked for 20 years as the news anchor of the Francophone public broadcaster RTBF. Over the past year, she was working on Brussels’ bid to become the European capital of culture in 2030.

“As of today, I have the honor of being the face of Belgium abroad,” Lahbib said. “Not only is there war at the gates of the European Union, the war also has repercussions all over the world.”

While she admitted she was surprised to be asked, Lahbib said: “I have no political experience, but I know the area. I was in the field [as a journalist]. Maybe now is the time to change something in politics.” Lahbib is Belgium’s first foreign minister of North African descent. She was born in Hainaut to an Algerian family.

Lahbib took the oath at the royal palace on Friday morning.

After taking a temporary break in April, Wilmès announced on Thursday that she was officially resigning to care of her husband, who is fighting brain cancer. In a statement, the former minister said that “her current duties in the government” would not allow her to fight her “husband’s illness” alongside him.

Bouchez said that Wilmès will stay on as an MP in the next parliamentary session, and that she will be leading the list for the MR party at the 2024 parliamentary elections.

Lahbib is not taking on Wilmès’ deputy prime minister role, which goes to David Clarinval, the minister currently in charge of SMEs and agriculture.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You May Also Like

Europe

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) — often regarded as the ‘silent pandemic’ — is the leading cause of death worldwide. In 2019 alone, it was responsible...

Europe

Police used tear gas and water cannons against football fans in central Brussels on Sunday as violence broke out in the aftermath of Belgium’s...

Europe

The French government has relied too much on external consultants such as U.S. firm McKinsey, French Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said...

Europe

In a significant escalation of political unrest, protests against China’s strict zero-COVID policy spread to several cities and university campuses across the country, with...

Europe

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged on Saturday that a price cap on Russian seaborne oil be set at $30-$40 per barrel, much lower than...

Europe

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday received top Western officials as he officially launched a new food initiative to export grain to Africa. Zelenskyy hosted...

Europe

Eurozone finance ministers on Friday elected Pierre Gramegna, a former finance minister of Luxembourg, to lead the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). The election caps...

Industrial Policy

Press play to listen to this article Voiced by artificial intelligence. China stands to be the only winner if a subsidy war breaks out...