URUGWIRO VILLAGE - United States Senator James Inhofe has said that his country and Rwanda are determined to strengthen their cooperation in different areas of development.
Senator Inhofe made the revelation yesterday after holding one-hour discussions with President Paul Kagame at Urugwiro Village in Kigali.
Inhofe is leading a three-man delegation of US Congressmen who are in the country on a two-day working visit.
He said the discussions were based on various issues, including Eastern Congo and Darfur, and insisted that Rwanda is the best choice for such discussions.
“There is no one, no country we can rely on more than Rwanda,” he said, adding that the two countries want to be cooperative in order to find out how they can help each other, because it is not a one way affair.
“We help Rwanda but Rwanda helps us,” he said.
“There are areas where you have needs to make our joint efforts more successful,” he explained in an interview, noting that the Rwandan military have a reputation of being effective, and that the discussions dwelled on how to make them do a better job.
Other US lawmakers visiting with Inhofe are Senator Michael Enzi and Congressman John Boozman who were accompanied by US ambassador to Rwanda, Stuart Symington. They had earlier called on Defence Minister Gen Marcel Gatsinzi at his offices in Kimihurura.
“We are doing things together (Rwanda and USA) that some other countries are not willing to do – we are partners,” Inhofe told reporters after the closed-door meeting with Gatsinzi.
“We are concerned about what is happening in the eastern Congo, we want to resolve these problems together.”
The group is said to be looking into priorities of Rwanda’s assistance framework and, also hailed Operation Umoja Wetu – the joint Rwanda-DRC military offensive against rebel elements of the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in eastern DRC that ended February.
“I have been privileged to be here in Rwanda, about seven times I believe, now. That is more than any one else has ever been to Rwanda from the United States Senate and one of the reasons for that is that we developed a very close intimate relationship with President Kagame,” he said, shortly before the delegation paid a call on the President.