Belgian government continues to view PKK as a terrorist organisation despite Court of Cassation ruling

The Belgian Foreign Minister Philippe Goffin (Francophone liberal) says that Belgian government continues to view the armed Kurdish group PKK as a terrorist organisation. This is despite a ruling to the contrary by the Court of Cassation in Brussels.    

In a statement released on Wednesday Mr Goffin writes "The position of the Belgian government is unambiguous: PKK is a terrorist organisation”.

On Monday the Court of Cassation upheld an earlier ruling by the Court of Appeal in Brussels in which it was decided that PKK cannot be prosecuted under the terms of Belgium’s anti-terrorism legislation.    

After the Court of Cassation’s ruling the Council of the Kurdish Community in Belgium Navbel said that it was pleased with what it described as a “historic ruling”.

A spokesman told journalists that "We hope that the EU list of terrorist organisations will now come in question”.

Nevertheless, the Belgian Foreign Minister says that the ruling doesn’t mean that the Kurdish Workers’ Party (PKK) will no longer be viewed as a terrorist organisation.  

Mr Goffin stress that the Belgian government’s view is at one with that of the EU, the United States and Canada. “PKK is a terrorist organisation. Belgium will continue to defend the inclusion of PKK and other Turkish terrorist groups such as DHKP/C and TAC on the European list of groups, persons and entities that continue to defend those that are involved in terrorist acts and the judicial authorities will continue to cooperate with European and other partners in the prosecution of members of PKK as we have been doing for years”.      

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