Foreign Affairs Minister and Government Spokesperson Briefs Media on Current Affairs
Kigali, 5 April 2017 – Foreign Affairs Minister and Government Spokesperson, Louise Mushikiwabo, has said that in the last three months, Rwanda has been strengthening bilateral ties with countries across the world.
Addressing a press conference yesterday in Kigali, Minister Mushikiwabo said:
“In the last three months, we had many trips meant to strengthen our relations with countries across the globe. From Beijing, to Rome, to Boston via London, President Kagame had several engagements around the globe where he shared his thoughts and Rwanda’s position on issues pertaining to our interests,” Minister Mushikiwabo said.
The Government Spokesperson reiterated that the different visits abroad in which the country’s leadership has been engaged are backed by citizen-led achievements back home.
President Kagame earlier in the year presented a report on recommendations for institutional reforms of the African Union as mandated by the AU Summit last July. The recommendations were adopted by Heads of State at the January summit and President Kagame together with current AU Chair, President Alpha Condé and former Chair, President Idriss Déby Itno are leading the implementation process.
President Kagame, accompanied by First Lady Jeannette Kagame, made a successful two-day official visit to China, where he held bilateral talks with President Xi Jjnping in Beijing. The President also met with Rwandan students in China and African ambassadors based in Beijing.
On President Kagame’s latest engagement in the US, Minister Mushikiwabo pointed out that President Kagame’s invitation to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was in recognition of the excellent ties that Rwanda enjoys with Israel.
Speaking about President Kagame’s meeting with Pope Francis last month, Minister Mushikiwabo said that President Kagame had responded to the Pope’s invitation. The two leaders discussed bilateral ties between Rwanda and the Holy See, particularly the role of the Catholic Church during the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
“The fact that the Catholic Church recognised its responsibility in the Genocide is something we take very seriously as a Government. This time, the Church was able to say ‘we have absolutely failed,’ as a Church. This is a tremendous step in our relations,” Minister Mushikiwabo said.
Minister Mushikiwabo also spoke on current issues including security in the region saying that Rwanda continues to work closely with neighbouring countries to ensure security and stability for citizens of the region.
Concerning the East African Community, she asserted that the spirit is alive and well as the implementation of various joint development projects gets underway.
On Rwanda’s diplomatic relations with South Africa, Minister Mushikiwabo said that they have improved and are at a much better place than they were a few years ago.
Minister Mushikiwabo announced that this month, President Kagame is scheduled to visit Djibouti, while the Ethiopian Prime Minister is expected to visit Rwanda.