The New Chinese and Indian envoys to Rwanda have presented their credentials to President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro.
Chinese Ambassador Rao Hungwei and India’s envoy Ravi Shankar presented their credentials yesterday.
They both expressed commitment to strengthen bilateral ties and cooperation between their respective countries and Rwanda.
Speaking to the media, Amb. Rao described ties between China and Rwanda as “a deep traditional friendship” that creates a strong bond between the people of both countries.
“There is a deep traditional friendship between China and Rwanda and a strong bond between our two people thanks to the long standing commitment of our leaders. China-Rwanda relations have grown from strength to strength through mutual understanding and sincere cooperation,” he said.
“The two sides enjoy stronger political trust, trade cooperation and closer people to people ties. During my tenure in office, I will work to strengthen the friendship and promote the comprehensive development of relations between our two countries.”
Rao, who has been in Kigali for two months, expressed enthusiasm to work in the country.
He lauded Rwanda as “a beautiful, dynamic, thriving country with hard working, talented people and great potential for development.’’
He also described Rwanda as one of the most competitive economies in Africa, citing achievements in areas like law and order, reconciliation, and nation building.
On his part, Ravi Shankar, the Indian high commissioner, said that the current state of bilateral relations between Rwanda and India are satisfactory and have been improving further over the last few years.
Citing the recently introduced direct flights from Rwanda to Mumbai, President Kagame’s visit to India in January this year, the visit of India’s vice president to Rwanda in February, among other things, Shankar said that there has been remarkable progress in the relations of both countries and more is still to come.
“India will be happy to continue its partnership with Rwanda in its quest for national development and growth and we will be pleased to consider any proposals coming from the Rwandan side for projects in the infrastructure area in Rwanda,” he said.
He noted that there are many areas in which the two countries have had cooperation and this will continue.
“For example, in education where not only does the government of India give scholarships to many Rwandan students but also a lot of Rwandan students are studying in India on private arrangements. We also have many Rwandan nationals travelling to India for treatment; we hope that some of the Indian hospitals in the near future will set up facilities in Rwanda so that pople here will no longer have to travel all the way to India for treatment,” he added.
Shankar also promised that in a few months time, India will establish a resident high commission in Rwanda. The Indian high commission to Rwanda currently operates from Kampala, Uganda.
Rwanda and India established diplomatic relations in 1999. China and Rwanda have had diplomatic relations for close to 46 years now.