Germans and their Rwandan friends thronged the German Ambassador’s residence in Kigali on Friday to mark the anniversary of the 1990 reunification of East and West Germany following the fall of the Berlin Wall.
It was also a day to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the German Basic Law.
In a function attended by diplomats and top government leaders, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rosemary Museminali, praised the partnership between the two sister countries and congratulated the Germans for their achievements.
Museminali added that Rwanda and Germany have always enjoyed excellent relations and that the partnership between the two States is evident.
In his speech, the German Ambassador to Rwanda, Elmar Timpe, said that the year 2009 is a special year for Germany.
“We are celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Basic Law and the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Germany is marking this double celebration in freedom and unity - this is cause for gratitude and joy for us Germans,” Timpe said.
He added that he was pleased that both the governments of Germany and Rwanda proved they had the right political will and vision to bring the traditionally good and intensive relations back on track.
The celebrations took place at a time when President Paul Kagame was visiting Germany where he met his counterpart Horst Köhler in Berlin.
This was the third time Kagame met with Köhler in a period of 18 months.
The relations between the two countries are considered very significant; a case in point is that Köhler officiated at the opening of the Rwanda Day in a colourful function held in Rhineland-Palatinate on September 05.
According to Timpe, “Germany wants Rwanda to fully succeed in all its development objectives. We were the first to offer substantial help after the Genocide.”
Germany recently increased its financial aid to Rwanda by 60 percent from Euros 24m to Euros 38.5m.
“This is a clear proof that there is willingness from both sides to strengthen relations as trusted partners and good friends,” Timpe said.
Besides the tremendous progress registered between the two countries, their relations had soured late last year.
The two countries’ diplomatic relations caved in after the arrest in Germany of the Director of State Protocol, Rose Kabuye, in Frankfurt while on official duty.
Rwanda vigorously protested and recalled its Ambassador and issued an ultimatum of 48 hours for the German envoy in Kigali to leave the country.
However, the two countries that have shared a long history of friendly relations decided to bury the hatchet and restore full diplomatic relations.