President Paul Kagame is on an official visit to France at the invitation of his French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, whom he met yesterday at the Champs-Élysées.
Earlier, the President addressed a crowd of more than 3,000 members of the Rwandan Diaspora based in Europe and Friends of Rwanda, before delivering a lecture on the ‘New International Order’ to a large audience of mainly, researchers, academics, diplomats and journalists at the Institut Francais de Relations Internationales (IFRI).
Kagame, whose entourage includes entrepreneurs and business leaders, is also scheduled to meet with members of the French business community, as part of his continued drive to attract foreign investors to the country.
Both Kagame and Sarkozy have talked of the need for the two countries to put their past differences behind them, and work together for the benefit of the citizens of both countries.
Kagame’s visit follows Sarkozy’s own visit to Kigali early last year and is a demonstration of the strong commitment by the two leaders to move on.
Today’s global challenges can be best tacked through political and economic partnerships and stronger Franco-Rwandan relationship can only be in the best interest of the citizens of the two nations.
By moving to enhance bilateral relations, the Heads of State have opened the doors for their peoples to freely connect, pursue joint business interests, and join hands in addressing common challenges.
Rwanda and France had strong historic ties which were abused by the leaders at the time, motivated by selfish interests. Residual elements from the dark past still exist and they worked tirelessly to undermine the visit.
However, the determination of the two leaders and the will of the people to move forward prevailed, and with the success of the visit, the citizens of both countries should take advantage of the new opportunities presented by the restored relations.