Kagame: Rwanda, Israel share tragic past

President Paul Kagame yesterday met with Israeli President Shimon Peres on the last day of his visit to the country. 
L-R: President Kagame, First Lady Jeannette, former US President Bill Clinton and Israeli President Shimon Peres attend the Presidential Award in Israel yesterday. The New Times/Village Urugwiro
L-R: President Kagame, First Lady Jeannette, former US President Bill Clinton and Israeli President Shimon Peres attend the Presidential Award in Israel yesterday. The New Times/Village Urugwiro

President Paul Kagame yesterday met with Israeli President Shimon Peres on the last day of his visit to the country. 

The President said Rwanda and Israel share a similar past experience as well as the determination to recover. 

 

“Our past is loaded with tragedy. There is nothing we can do to change our past but we can do everything to shape the future,” Kagame said.

 

Peres welcomed Kagame to Israel and expressed his country’s interest in strengthening cooperation with Rwanda. 

 

“We would be delighted to work with your country and with your people,” he said. 

Kagame also held talks with Premier Benjamin Netanyahu during which they discussed further opportunities for partnerships in agriculture, energy and education sectors. 

Earlier, Kagame and First Lady Jeannette attended the Presidential Award event held in honour of former US President Bill Clinton at the Israel Presidential Conference. 

In his acceptance speech, Clinton spoke of the need to focus on “our humanity rather than our differences.” He described Rwanda’s story as inspirational and President Kagame’s leadership as exemplary. 

“The people of Rwanda are an example that no matter what anyone has done to us or what we have done to each other, the first step is to get rid of anything that divides us, including seeing ourselves as victims.” 

President Clinton said despite the challenges that exist in an increasingly competitive world, survival of humanity depends on an inclusive global identity that celebrates differences. 

“There is no perfect answer, only the perfect obligation is to continue expanding the definition of ‘us’ and shrink the definition of ‘them’,” Clinton said.

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