Practice relating to Rule 66. Non-Hostile Contacts between the Parties to the Conflict
Belgium’s Field Regulations (1964) provides: “It is prohibited to enter in contact with the enemy, except with deserters, the wounded and parlementaires.”
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) states:
Relations between military commanders in the field of operations are necessary … for military or humanitarian purposes …
It is indispensable that, from both sides, these relations [intercourse between belligerents] be marked by the most scrupulous good faith and that no party takes any advantage from these relations that the other party does not intend to concede.
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) expressly recognizes the white flag as the flag of parlementaires.
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers recognizes “the white flag of parlementaires (used for negotiation or surrender)”.
The manual states: “This flag is actually recognized as the signal of a request for suspension of operations to enter into negotiations or to surrender.”
Belgium’s Field Regulations (1964) defines a parlementaire as a person “who has been authorized by one of the belligerents to enter into communication with the other, and who advances bearing a white flag”.
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) defines a parlementaire as “the person authorized by a belligerent to enter into communication with the adversary and who advances bearing a white flag (at night a white light)”.
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Officers states: “A parlementaire is a person who advances bearing a white flag, in order to negotiate.”
Belgium’s Law of War Manual (1983) provides: “The chief to whom a parlementaire is sent is not obliged to receive him in all circumstances.” It also states that it is prohibited for commanders to decide a priori
that they will not receive parlementaires.
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Officers (1994) states that the parlementaire “does not necessarily have to be received by the adverse party”.