SHARJAH - Sharjah and Belgium scoped out new partnership avenues and opportunities during a meeting which saw the presence of Sheikh Majid Al Qasimi, Director of the Department of Government Relations (DGR) in Sharjah, and Antoine Delcourt, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to the UAE.

Al Qasimi welcomed the Belgian delegation visiting the DGR headquarters, comprising Juren Seleslag, Political Affairs Adviser and Deputy Head of the Belgian Diplomatic Mission to the UAE, in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed Al Qasimi, International Relations and Research Executive, and Sheikha Naama Al Qasimi, International Relations and Research Executive, and stressed Sharjah’s keenness in bolstering relationships with the kingdom and building bridges with cities and countries around the world.

During the meeting, the director briefed the delegation on DGR’s initiatives that are aimed at fostering partnership opportunities in various cultural, economic, and art sectors, including organising visits for delegations, ambassadors, and members of the diplomatic and consular corps, to Sharjah’s key destinations such as the House of Wisdom and the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park, which signed a partnership agreement with Intel corporation recently.

The two parties also agreed on organising a Sharjah delegation visit to strengthen bilateral relations and bolster cooperation and partnership in all fields.

Commenting on the visit, Majid Al Qasimi said the UAE and Belgium have enjoyed a strong relationship since the opening of the UAE Embassy in Brussels in 1976, noting that the two sides have been keen on strengthening diplomatic relations through partnerships in all fields. The director highlighted that the two parties signed several agreements in different sectors, including economic, cultural, energy, environment and climate change.

He said, “As part of Sharjah’s vision, DGR held a meeting with Antoine Delcourt, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to the UAE, in September, during which the two sides explored partnership opportunities in creative industries, culture, education, innovation, arts, environment, trade and investment, and protection of antiquities. We are confident that this meeting will advance our relations and open new prospects for cooperation in the future.”

Antoine Delcourt commended Sharjah’s leading cultural role and efforts to bolster its status as an international cultural hub.

He expressed his interest in visiting universities in Sharjah to discover more partnership opportunities in science and academics.

“The Belgian-UAE relationship extends more than 40 years, during which the Belgian community in the UAE has grown and flourished. Currently, the UAE is home to more than 5,000 Belgians, which asserts the importance of strengthening our relations in all fields,” he said. “We are delighted to have held this meeting, which opens up cooperation opportunities with Sharjah through its diplomatic, cultural, academic, educational and artistic institutions, to expand our partnership in economic, trade and investment sectors to include tourism, hospitality, retail and others.”