Kigali, 21 August 2012

President Kagame today at Urugwiro Village received the Special Envoy of the Australian Prime Minister, Bob McMullan who is in the country on a four day visit. The meeting mainly focused on ways to strengthen the bi-lateral relationship between Rwanda and Australia, secure Rwanda’s support to Australia’s upcoming candidature to the United Nations Security Council and the MDG Advocacy Group co-chaired by President Kagame and Australian Prime Minister Mrs. Julia Gillard.

The envoy most recently served as Secretary for International Development Assistance in Parliament where he was instrumental in the 200% increase in aid to Africa since 2005.

After the meeting, Bob McMullan told press that Australia hopes to work together with Rwanda to serve on the Security Council better in the next two years.

“Friends don’t always agree but they always talk to each other. They always make sure that each knows the other’s view point. We have a lot of common views, not just about African issues but about global issues. We work together on issues like climate change, so we expect to have a lot of common views and shared views with Rwanda but when we don’t agree we will make sure we have a good constructive dialogue and that each knows the others position and the basis for it. We already have a basis for it; the Foreign Ministers talk often and permanent representatives in New York talk often already but we will have to increase that if we work together on the Security Council.”

Rwanda-Australia diplomatic relations were established in 2007. Today, partnerships with Australia range from scholarships given to Rwandan students to trade relationships with Australia. In 2011, Australia ranks 14th as Rwanda’s principal export destination and Rwanda as 33rd Australia’s principal import sources.

Australia is also a prominent participant in peacekeeping missions in Africa including under UN Mission in Sudan and the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur.