KACYIRU - United States President George W. Bush yesterday said that his country is standing with Rwandans in their country’s reconstruction process after the 1994 Genocide.
President Bush was speaking yesterday during a colourful function to dedicate the new US Embassy offices in Kacyiru, Kigali City.
Bush, standing besides his wife, Laura, President Paul Kagame and First Lady Mrs. Jeannette, said: “….cutting the ribbon here really is a chance for America to say, we stand with you as you hope for a better future.”
He said:” We can’t run our embassies abroad without the people from the host nations, I am told you are good people, thank you for working side by side with the people of the United States of America.”
President Bush, who was in Rwanda as part of his five-nation African tour, expressed appreciation for President Kagame describing him as a caring leader.
“I like dealing with strong leaders who care about the people. I like courage and compassion. And that’s what I believe your President (Kagame) has; he cares deeply about the citizens,” Bush said.
He added: “To who much is given, much is required. Presidents must make decisions based upon certain principles that are timeless and universal. And that’s one of the principles that stand our nation in good stead. We’re a blessed nation, and I believe it is in our interests, our national interests and our moral interest, to help people like we’re helping them here in Rwanda,” Bush said.
Like he did in Washington D.C before embarking on his second African tour last week, Bush hailed US citizens, particularly those working in Rwanda, for being compassionate.
“We see suffering, we just don’t sit around and talk about it, and we act upon it, and when we see the hungry, we feed the hungry,” said the American President.
Speaking about his malaria fight initiative, Bush said: “For those of you on the front lines of saving lives with the Malaria Initiative, I say, thanks, good job, keep doing it.
“It’s just not that difficult to figure out how to deal with the disease of which thousands of babies die. Its insecticides and nets and good strategies. So thanks for working on that.”
About the HIV/Aids programme he has equally initiated, the US leader told the US embassy staff: “People often ask why I decided to get involved in this initiative. I couldn’t stand by and watch a generation of people eradicated with something that we could help, and so I want to thank my fellow citizens for saving lives. And so thanks for being a part of what I call a “mission of mercy.” And thanks for showing the good heart of America,” he said.
He thanked Rwandans for their assistance in the construction of the new multi-million dollar embassy.
Speaking at the same function, President Kagame said that the commissioning of the building was important not only for the government and people of the United States but also for Rwandans.
“As you all know, an embassy is a home away from home. This beautiful complex should become a magnet for drawing more Americans to Rwanda, not only civil servants and diplomats, but American businessmen and women seeking investment opportunities in our country and the region,” Kagame said.
He added: “The new embassy is also a vote of confidence in how we are building a new nation. We are proud of that. It is a place of learning for one seeking information and new ideas in its famous library, with its vast and original sources.”
Kagame told the visiting President and his entourage that America inspires Rwanda and Africa in many ways. “With America’s inspiration and partnership, our country and our continent will also make the transition into the prosperity column.”
President Kagame and the US Ambassador to Rwanda Michael Arietti suggested that the roundabout just outside the embassy offices should carry the name of the great American civil rights leader, Martin Luther King.
The American President left last evening for visits to Ghana and Liberia before returning home on Thursday. Other nations he toured are Benin and Tanzania.