Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister and Deputy Premier resigns to take care of ill husband
Sophie Wilmès is leaving her position in the Belgian Federal government, announces her cabinet this July 14. Wilmès presented her resignation as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, European Affairs and Foreign Trade, and Federal Cultural Institutions to the Belgian King Philippe, who accepted it.
"My husband's illness will be a difficult battle that I want to fight alongside him and alongside our children," she said in a statement. "My current functions within the government would not allow it. It is with emotion that I always think of those who are also fighting against the disease. I thank from the bottom of my heart the very many people, from all walks of life, who have shown us and still show us their support on a daily basis," Wilmès said.
"I also thank the Prime Minister and my federal colleagues who ensured the continuity of the work in my absence. To them, to the person who will take over as well as to the whole of the government, I wish success and perseverance in bringing the projects and reforms that our country so badly needs," she added.
Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo "warmly" thanked Wilmès for "her commitment to Belgians and the dedication to our country that she has demonstrated in recent years".
"The choice that Sophie Wilmès is making today is a courageous choice. It is a choice worthy of the person she is, sincere. It is a choice that makes us all reflect on the meaning of life and that reminds us of its priorities," said the Prime Minister.
"I greet, more personally, a traveling companion. Sophie is someone you can always count on, someone who never hides when it comes to taking on her responsibilities. Our government is losing a great lady, but above all I want tell Sophie that we are all, at this moment, by her side in the fight she is waging with Christopher", highlighted De Croo.
© BELGA PHOTO (François WALSCHAERTS / AFP) Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba (L) greets Belgium's Foreign Affairs Minister Sophie Wilmes (R) at NATO Foreign Ministers roundtable in Brussels on April this year.