The Belgian parliament building  (file photo)

The Belgian parliament building

Belgian MPs Call Tehran-Brussels Prisoner Swap Treaty ‘Deal With Devil’


Belgium's parliament session to decide on a prisoner swap treaty between Tehran and Brussels, slated for July 14, was postponed until Tuesday, July 19. 

However, a group of MPs used the Thursday open session attended by the prime minister to criticize him over the pact, calling it "a deal with the devil." 

New Flemish Alliance leader Peter De Roover was not dissatisfied with the postponement, saying, “Maybe there will finally be some realization that this is a devil’s pact.”

Georges Dallemagne from the Les Engagés party and Ellen Samyn from Flemish nationalist, right-wing party Vlaams Belang also expressed their dissatisfaction with the treaty once again. “Belgium’s international credibility is not much, but if this is ratified, it will sink under the ground,” said Samyn.

Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, who is also responsible for foreign affairs during Sophie Wilmès’s absence, reiterated that Belgium wants to do everything it can “not to let Belgians who are innocent abroad in prison” stay in jail.

Wilmes, who finalized her resignation as foreign minister on Thursday, quitted to take care of her husband, former Australian footballer Chris Stone, who has been diagnosed with brain cancer. Wilmes had already temporarily stepped down in April, when De Croo took over her foreign affairs duties.

Critics say that the agreement will result in sending back Assadollah Assadi, an Iranian diplomat serving a 20-year prison sentence in Belgium for planning a terror attack in Paris four years ago.

Science Weekly
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