FOREIGN RELATION - The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has praised Rwanda’s economic development programmes. Brown was meeting President Paul Kagame at his Downing Street offices on Wednesday, during the latter’s five-day visit to the United Kingdom. The president concluded his UK visit yesterday. According to the Rwandan ambassador to the UK Claver Gatete, Brown said that the course of promoting trade and investment as a way to achieve sustainable development was a viable endeavor. The two leaders discussed Rwanda’s transition from poverty eradication programme to sustainable economic development programmes.
“He especially thanked the President (Kagame) for his efforts to lead the country towards this achievement,” Gatete said by telephone from London.
On his part, Kagame appreciated the continued significant support the UK has given to Rwanda particularly through national budget.
The UK is the leading donor country to Rwanda.
“He told the Prime Minister (Brown) that the UK has played an instrumental role in the realisation of the country’s vision through budget support,” Gatete, who also attended the meeting, observed.
Brown also acknowledged Rwanda’s role to peace efforts both in the Great Lakes Region, and in Sudanese Darfur region.
“He said that Rwanda’s commitment to contribute one extra battalion for the hybrid UN-AU force (in Darfur) was a major boost, and the President responded by saying that he was ready to do anything to restore peace in the Sudan,” he added.
Kagame said extra RDF battalion was on standby ready to be airlifted to Darfur.
Rwanda recently approved an 800-strong battalion for the joint UN-AU mission, which according to Rwanda Defence Forces Spokesman Maj. Jill Rutaremara, is due to be airlifted this month.
The British Premier promised support to the new Darfur mission.
Kagame also briefed the British premier on the current situation between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
“The President told him about the recent meeting he held with his Congolese counterpart Joseph Kabila on he sidelines of the UN General Assembly,” Gatete added.
On the issue of extradition of Genocide suspects to Rwanda by the UK, it was pointed out that the recent abolition of the death penalty in Rwanda had removed a major barrier to the extradition of Genocide suspects to stand trial at home.
The meeting also observed that Rwanda had acquired sufficient capacity to process cases of suspected Genocide architects.
The United Kingdom recently started proceedings for the extradition of four Rwanda Genocide suspects who were arrested several months ago.