Kigali, 22 November 2012

President Kagame today met and held discussions with Mark Simmonds, British Foreign and Commonwealth Office Minister for Africa who is visiting the region. The Minister was accompanied to the meeting by Mark Lowcock, the new Permanent Secretary for DFID.

Speaking at the end of the meeting, Mark Simmonds said:

“The President and I had an extremely positive and constructive discussion which centered on the implementation of the Communiqué that was agreed upon in Kampala and the longer term strategies of how stability is provided in Congo. Regional countries and the international community have a very significant role to play in coordinating our efforts towards making sure there is a sustainable solution to the problems in DRC.”

Minister Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister reiterated that Britain is an important development partner for Rwanda. She said that it is clear that people have started to open their eyes to the realities of the situation in Congo, which will significantly lead to finding a sustainable solution:

“Rwanda has always argued that problems in Congo should be examined in depth as opposed to looking at it from the surface, if what we are genuinely interested in is a sustainable solution. The meeting yesterday between President Kagame, President Museveni and Kabila in Kampala was aimed at clearing the mist that has been hanging over the Congo issue for a long time now, in order to urgently find a solution as a region. The resolutions that came out of the meeting, if implemented, will open the way towards providing the best answers to the problems in Congo. These outcomes will also act as guidelines for the ICGLR Heads of State Conference that will take place this Saturday.”

Minister Mushikiwabo also said that while all this is happening, the issue of FDLR who are still very active in South Kivu is still a big security challenge but that for the sake of peace in Congo and the region, Rwanda has decided to look at the outstanding problems affecting Congo.