Rwanda, Indian leaders pledge to further enhance bilateral ties

President Paul Kagame and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have spoken highly of the existing bilateral relations between the two countries, pledging even greater ties.

The two leaders expressed their mutual commitment in friendly messages posted on Twitter.  

President Kagame was the first to underline the importance of the two countries’ relations in a tweet congratulating Modi on his re-election as Indian premier.

“Congratulations Prime Minister @narendramodi on your re-election and the faith the people of India have rightfully placed in you,” Kagame tweeted Thursday.

He added: “My very best wishes of success to you and the nation of India. We remain committed to the productive relationship between our two nations and people.”

To which Modi responded Friday, saying, “Thank you President @PaulKagame for your warm wishes. I look forward to continue working with you to enhance the ties between our countries and our people.”

Modi became the first prime minister to visit Rwanda in July 2018 when he paid a two-day state visit to Kigali during which the two leaders presided over the signing of seven bilateral agreements.

The two countries cooperate in a wide range of areas, including agriculture, trade, aviation, education, defence, cultural exchange, leather and allied industries.

During his visit, Prime Minister Modi also donated 200 cows to poor households in Bugesera District in support of government’s Girinka scheme, a flagship pro-poor programme under which over 340,000 vulnerable households have received at least a cow each since 2006.

The two nations first established diplomatic relations in 1999 and President Kagame has previously paid visits to India.

Modi’s party was this week declared the big winners of the Asian giant’s latest election, collecting more votes than in 2014.

The poll involved some 900 million voters and lasted six weeks, making it the world’s largest election.  

"This is a victory for the youth who have dreams," Modi, 68, told a crowd at his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s headquarters in New Delhi on Thursday.

"For the mother who wished for a toilet; for every sick person who couldn't afford treatment; for farmers who toil hard for the nation; for poor people moving into their first home; for every law-abiding, tax-paying citizen," he was quoted as saying.

He said he would hold onto the spirit of a "Chowkidar," or watchman, which he had taken to calling himself in previous weeks.

Besides President Kagame, a host of world leaders have also congratulated Prime Minister Modi on his re-election.