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Nato summit, Biden visit expected to cause traffic chaos in Brussels
US President Joe Biden will visit Belgium next week, as part of his first overseas trip since taking office.
After first attending the G7 summit in the United Kingdom, President Biden will arrive in Brussels for the gathering of Nato leaders which takes place from 13-15 June. Unsurprisingly, the police have warned of severe disruption to traffic in the capital during the president’s stay.
From Sunday to Tuesday, the police will set up various security perimeters in Brussels. These include the area around the Nato headquarters in Evere/Haren, the American Embassy on Boulevard du Régent, The Hotel on Boulevard de Waterloo and the European Quarter. Parking is prohibited for all vehicles, including bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles and scooters. The police will remove any vehicles which are found parked within these perimeters.
In addition, the police will close traffic in several places. On 14 June, Boulevard Léopold III will be closed all day in both directions between the intersection with Avenue Jules Bordet and the Ring. A security perimeter around the US Embassy will apply from 13-15 June 13. Rue Ducale and Boulevard du Régent are then closed between the Rue de al Loi and Rue Lambermont.
On 15 June, the police will close the European quarter in the morning. Severe traffic disruptions are also expected near the Royal Palace, from Place Du Trône to Parc. Furthermore, the police have announced traffic closures on the Ring, the E19, the Reyers complex tunnels, Rue Belliard, Avenue de la Toison d'Or and Boulevard de Waterloo. Several tunnels on the inner ring road will also be closed.
In addition to road traffic disruptions, there will be diversions in operation on Stib and De Lijn services. The entrances to metro stations Arts-Loi and Schuman will also be closed, although metro traffic will be normal.
"We advise everyone to avoid Brussels by car during this Nato summit and to use public transport as much as possible," the Brussels Capital-Ixelles police said. "Our police zone will ensure that, in addition to providing security for the official visits resulting from the NATO summit, we will continue to respect the valuable concept of an 'open city'."
While the Nato summit and Biden’s visit to Brussels will cause annoyance to some, others are preparing to celebrate the arrival of the US president.
Democrats Abroad Belgium (DAB), an organisation of US expats, will gather - in a socially distanced manner - to celebrate Biden’s arrival on Place du Luxembourg this Sunday.
In addition to an expected crowd of red, white and blue-clad human revellers, the organisation has called for patriotically dressed, well-behaved dogs to join the party with their owners and offer “Barks for Biden” during the event which will take place from 14.30 to 15.30.
Dozens of Americans living in Belgium, including newly elected DAB leaders, Chairman Trip DuBard and Vice Chair Onelica Andrade, are expected to attend and deliver speeches on “Why I’m a Democrat.” People – and dogs – who are interested in learning more can visit DAB’s website.
For those who want to stay informed about the traffic disruptions, you can visit the website of the police. The police will also provide updates on the traffic situation via its official Twitter feed during the Nato summit and Biden's visit.