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Former journalist Lahbib replaces Wilmes as Belgian foreign minister

Jul 16, 2022

Brussels [Belgium], July 16: Former journalist HadjaLahbib was sworn in here on Friday as Belgium's new minister of foreign affairs, European affairs, foreign trade and federal cultural institutions in the presence of Prime Minister Alexander De Croo. Prior to the ceremony, Lahbib was received by King Philippe of Belgium in an audience.
Lahbib, 52, worked 20 years as a news presenter at the Francophone public broadcaster RTBF and is now a member of the governing coalition member Francophone liberal Reformist Movement (MR) party.
Earlier on Friday, Lahbib was presented at a press conference as the successor of Sophie Wilmes by MR President Georges-Louis Bouchez.
Wilmes submitted her resignation to King Philippe last Thursday for reasons related to her husband's illness. She had been on a leave of absence since April 21.
"I am aware of the immense challenges facing our world and our democracies. I take up my duties as Belgian foreign minister with humility and a strong sense of responsibility," Lahbib tweeted.
The new foreign minister will hold the same portfolio in the federal government as her predecessor, except for that of deputy prime minister. David Clarinval, minister for independents and SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), will keep the post of deputy prime minister for the MR.
Lahbib was born on June 21, 1970, in Boussu, Belgium, to a family from Kabylia in Algeria. She has a degree in journalism and communication from the UniversiteLibre de Bruxelles and has worked as a reporter and special correspondent in India, Palestine and Afghanistan, and for RTL-TVI, a private Belgian television channel. She then presented the news on RTBF.
Source: Xinhua