Kigali, 10 November 2011

President Kagame today received Côte d’Ivoire Prime Minister who is also Minister of Defense, Rt. Hon. Guillaume Soro for aTête-à-tête at Urugwiro Village. The Ivorian Premier has been in the country as one of the leaders from post conflict nations that attended the Peace Building Conference held in Kigali November from 8-9, organized by the African Development Bank, the United Nations and the Government of Rwanda.

Speaking to the press shortly before departure, the Côte d’Ivoirepremiersaid that his country and the entire continent had a lot to learn from Rwanda, especially in the areas of security, building institutions, reconciliation and reconstruct:

“From the tragedy that happened here in Rwanda, I was able to know how the country and its people managed to rebuild themselves to what it is today. I also benefited a lot from the discussions we had during the conference. Today I met my colleague the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and we shared experience between our countries. We know our countries have undergone similar circumstances though we cannot compare the 3,000 people who died in Côte d’Ivoire to the 1 million that died in Rwanda-the trauma is incomparable. We have agreed to fast tract our bilateral cooperation and our Ministers of Foreign affairs and Defense will meet as soon as possible to map out how this is going to be done and the things we need to do.”

The Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo said that Côte d’Ivoire and Rwanda have agreed to identify areas of cooperation and what they have to do, and have also talked about strengthening the existing ties:

“Basically Côte d’Ivoire is interested in quickly forging a better relationship with Rwanda. We have had very good cordial relations with Côte d’Ivoire but the discussion that took place was about scaling up the relationship between the two countries”.