The President of the Republic of Rwanda, H.E. Paul Kagame held talks with US President George W. Bush focusing on bilateral relations, peace, security and development, at the White House’s Oval Office on Tuesday afternoon.
President Kagame and President Bush expressed satisfaction about the warm and strengthening relations existing between the US and Rwanda, and committed their respective governments to working together to consolidate these ties.
President Kagame thanked President Bush for the continued economic support of the US government for various development projects in Rwanda, particularly in HIV/AIDS prevention and development of the agricultural sector.
President Kagame briefed President Bush about the political and economic developments in Rwanda since the 1994 genocide. He also briefed President Bush about the constitution-making process, the forthcoming referendum and elections to be held later this year. He called for further US government support for these processes.
President Kagame also briefed President Bush about the political and security situation in the Great Lakes region. On the DRC, President Kagame noted that the presence of the ex-FAR/Interahamwe genocidal militia in the DRC continues to pose a threat to Rwanda’s security. He urged the US government to put pressure on the Kinshasa government to fulfill its commitments under the Lusaka and Pretoria Agreements, adding that the formation of a national unity government in Kinshasa would stabilize the region and improve the prospects for peace. President Bush congratulated Rwanda on the decision to withdraw all its troops from the DRC and expressed his government’s support for efforts to achieve peace, security and democracy in the region.
On the question of Iraq, President Kagame said that Rwanda had learnt from past experience that sometimes difficult decisions need to be made for the greater good of humanity.
While at the White House, President Kagame also met for talks with the US National Security Advisor, Dr. Condoleeza Rice. President Kagame briefed Dr. Rice about recent political developments in Rwanda and the situation in the Great Lakes region.
This is President Kagame’s first visit to the US at the invitation of President Bush. The visit reflects the warm and increasingly strong relationship between Rwanda and the US, which is based on a shared vision for peace, security and development in Rwanda and Africa as a whole. Bilateral relations between the two countries have in the recent past extended beyond traditionally important political ties to encompass trade and socio-economic development.
President Kagame was accompanied by Foreign Minister Dr. Charles Muligande, Rwanda’s Ambassador to the US Dr. Richard Sezibera, the Director of Cabinet in the Presidency, Ambassador Dr Théogčne Rudasingwa, and the National Security Advisor to the President Dr. Emmanuel Ndahiro.