Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame visits Israel, seeks to boost cooperation


( Rwandan President Paul Kagame arrived in Israel Monday for a two-day state visit to further boost ties between the Jewish state and the emerging African nation.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Credit: Kobi Gideon/GPO.

“We are two nations who understand the horror of genocide, and we must show what humanity can achieve with cooperation and understanding,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told Kagame at the presidential residence in Jerusalem Monday. 

“We know that Rwanda is now going to be member of the U.N. Human Rights Council. This is a body which is always against Israel, so we welcome all those who are prepared to speak for us,” Rivlin said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also met with Kagame and praised the African leader for standing up for Israel on the international stage.

“We see how you stand up for Israel in international forums, and you already expressed a simple principle that we did which is that bilateral relationships should be reflected in multilateral forums. There is a dissonance between us and a few other nations still,” Netanyahu said.

Kagame, a former lead commander of the rebel Tutsi force that put an end to the country’s genocide in the mid-1990s, has been attempting to modernize Rwanda and aims to boost relations with Israel in areas such as technology, agriculture, energy and security. 

“Rwanda is open for business,” Kagame declared. “We look forward to welcoming private sector delegations from Israel even more frequently in the future.” 

Posted on July 10, 2017 .