German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, has said that Rwanda is an anchor of stability in the region. Minister Steinmeier was addressing a press conference in Kigali alongside Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo.
Minister Steinmeier, who was on a two-day visit to Rwanda, said that Germany and Rwanda are connected by common values and by the experience of reconciliation. The Minister said that there are significant opportunities for Germany and Rwanda to expand business, investment and cultural ties: “When I return home, I will tell my fellow Germans about the efforts Rwanda is making to boost business opportunities.”
Minister Mushikiwabo said that the two countries enjoy special relations as a result of their shared history, partnership and values. “We look forward to expanding business opportunities as well as cultural ties between Rwanda and Germany,” she said.
Speaking on Rwanda’s progress after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, Minister Steinmeier said that though the wounds of genocide take time to heal, Rwanda today is far from that reality: “We need to make sure that people have a realistic view of Rwanda. People know far too little of this country.”
Commenting on the FDLR genocide militia which is still terrorising parts of eastern DRC, Minister Steinmeier said that the impediments to tackling FDLR must be solved and he hopes that the UN peacekeeping force in DRC (MONUSCO) overcomes those impediments.
Minister Mushikiwabo reiterated Rwanda’s call that those who have made pledges to remove the FDLR militia from eastern DRC honour their commitments: “Military action against FDLR is very important to stop the genocide militia moving about and causing insecurity.”
The German Minister of Foreign Affairs’s visit started with a bilateral meeting with his Rwandan counterpart Louise Mushikiwabo where the two discussed security and how to build respect and harmony around the world.
The two ministers addressed a business roundtable hosted by the Rwanda Development Board. The roundtable was attended by a high level delegation from Germany and businesspeople from Rwanda’s private sector. They discussed the country’s business friendly atmosphere and numerous untapped opportunities that are available for investment.
Minister Steinmeier concluded his visit to Rwanda by meeting President Kagame. He also paid his respects to victims of the 1994 genocide at the Kigali Genocide Memorial.