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Ponta Delgada ,  June 14, 2013

Rodrigo Oliveira stresses "mutual interest" in strengthening cooperation between the Azores and Belgium

The Regional Under Secretary of the Presidency for External Relations welcomed the Ambassador of Belgium in Portugal, Pierre Bernard, at an audience held on Friday, during which the government official emphasised "the mutual interest in strengthening the cooperation relations between the Azores and Belgium in various fields."

Speaking at the end of the meeting that took place at Conceição Palace in Ponta Delgada, Rodrigo Oliveira stressed the importance of the "historical ties between the Azores and Belgium, most notably with the Flemish region.  The Flemish settlement of the Azores in the 15th and 16th centuries and the important figures who have settled in the Azores such as Jacques de Bruges, Joss van Hurtere or Wilhelm van der Haegen have left a legacy that still endures today in place names, family names or in architecture, as in the wind mills on the island of Faial."

"Currently, the membership to the European Union and the similar statutes of Belgian and Azorean regions, with extensive political and legislative powers, have established a relation under the European inter-regional cooperation through the participation in the Conference of Regions with Legislative Powers or in the Committee of Regions," stressed the Regional Under Secretary.

During the audience, the government official also highlighted the importance of Belgium as a tourism market for the Azores, with special emphasis on the last two years, and the introduction of direct flight connections between Ponta Delgada and Brussels from April to October.

"The Azores are less than four hours' flight from Brussels, being is an important market with growth potential," said Rodrigo Oliveira.

The meeting with Ambassador Pierre Bernard, who was accompanied by the Honorary Consul of Belgium in Ponta Delgada, José Braz, also addressed the potentialities of a greater cooperation between Azorean and Belgian institutions in the areas of science, particularly those related to the sea, and culture.


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Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

 
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