KIGALI - Today’s landmark meeting between President Paul Kagame and his Congolese counterpart, Joseph Kabila, is expected to go beyond security to encompass trade and joint investment opportunities in different projects.
A reliable source said the two Heads of State who are meeting today at the Rwanda-DRC border of Rubavu ,will engage in different bilateral issues but also discus on how they can jointly work to move the Great Lakes Region forward.
“We are going beyond security issues that have in the past been a major concern for the two nations,” a source that spoke on condition of anonymity told The New Times.
“We are now looking at broader issues of trade and investment---I’m sure you’ve heard about the proposed joint projects in the energy sector.”
The meeting, the first under bilateral arrangements, marks a turning point between the two former foes.
It comes at a time the two nations have restored full diplomatic relations by appointing ambassadors to the respective capitals.
In Rubavu, a preparatory meeting by Ministers from both nations set a friendly mood and tone to signal that war drums had long been silenced and that the two nations were now heading for full bilateral cooperation.
The Ministers working on the agenda for the Heads of State meeting came up with renewed commitment and zeal to drive relations to greater heights.
“We are meeting here to evaluate our cooperation in all areas and prepare the meeting of Heads of States to take place, as we look forward to having a permanent partnership,” Foreign Affairs Minister Rosemary Museminari said yesterday.
She and her Congolese counterparts and senior government officials from both nations have been engaged in long diplomatic endeavours shuttling between Kinshasa and Kigali to mend fences.
“We want this cooperation to extend from diplomacy to energy, security, trade and free movement of our citizens. I believe that the meeting of our Heads of State will have a great impact to all our citizens,” Raymond Tshibanda, DRC’s Minister for International and Regional Cooperation reiterated.
He added that cooperation between both countries was now flourishing and hoped that it would extend to all spheres of life.
Other Congolese ministers who attended the meeting included the Ministers of Defence Charles Mwando Nsimba, Foreign Affairs Minister Alexis Tambwe and Laurent Muzangisa in charge of Energy.