President Paul Kagame on Friday held a meeting with American President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which concluded yesterday in Davos, Switzerland.
The two leaders reviewed the bilateral relations between the two countries and discussed issues of interest of the African Union, including peace and security, counterterrorism, U.S.-Africa trade, and African Union reform.
Addressing the media after the meeting, President Kagame said that the continent was looking forward to productive work relations with the United States.
“We are looking forward to working with the United States at the level of the African Union where we are carrying out reforms. That helps in cooperation with the United States and it will be beneficial when we are organised,” Kagame said.
President Kagame observed that many of the world’s fastest-growing economies are in Africa, and commended President Trump for the United States’ attention to the importance of economic development on the continent.
From the ties with the United States, Kagame said that Rwanda had benefited in multiple aspects, including peace keeping operations, trade, investments and tourism among others.
“Rwanda has benefitted tremendously from the support of the United States in many areas.
Whether it is in peace support operations we have carried out in different parts of the world, we have had the United States on our side supporting us. They have supported our economy in trade, investments. We see a lot of tourists from the United States coming to Rwanda,” he said.
President Trump, on his part, congratulated President Kagame as the incoming head of the African Union.
“It’s a great honor to be with President Kagame. And we have had tremendous discussions on Rwanda, and the job they have done is absolutely terrific. We have trade with Rwanda, and I would say great relationships. I want to congratulate you, Mr President, as being the new head of the African Union. That’s a great honor…So please give my regards. I know you’re going to your first meeting very shortly, and please give my warmest regards. But it’s an honor to have you as a friend,” Trump said.
The two leaders reaffirmed the pre-eminence of mutual understanding and agreed to work together to identify further ways to enhance strategic partnerships.
Speaking at the closure of the weeklong summit, the U.S leader called on countries to invest in improving their defence mechanisms to rise against growing terror threats.
“To make the world safer from rogue regimes, terrorism, and revisionist powers, we are asking our friends and allies to invest in their own defences and to meet their financial obligations. Our common security requires everyone to contribute their fair share,” Trump said.
While in Davos, President Kagame held bilateral talks with various leaders with political, business and civil society backgrounds.
Kagame later in the day met George Soros Founder and Chair of Open Society.
Other world leaders Kagame met during the forum include, Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, Fifa President Gianni Infantino, Arkady Dvorkovich, Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
During the week-long forum, Kagame also met Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Swiss President Alain Berset, former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, President Alpha Condé of Guinea, Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, founder and executive chairman of Alibaba Group Jack Ma, IFAD’s President Gilbert F. Houngbo and, Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway.