India- Rwanda relations have stood the test of time, says PM Modi
Kigali, July 23: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said relations between India and Rwanda have "stood the test of time."
India extended USD 200 million lines of credit to Rwanda as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held wide-ranging talks with President Paul Kagame and discussed measures to boost the bilateral strategic ties by strengthening cooperation in trade and agriculture sectors.
After the one-on-one talks with president Kagame, Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit the East African country, announced that India will soon open its mission in Rwanda.
"We are going to open a High Commission in Rwanda. This will not only establish communication between our respective governments but also enable facilities for consular, passport, visa," Modi said at a joint press statement.
He noted that India and Rwanda relationships have stood the test of time. "It is a matter of honour for us that India has stood with Rwanda in their economic development journey," Modi said, adding that India will be continue to back Rwanda's development.
The two countries signed agreements on leather and allied areas and agricultural research. India also extended two lines of credit -- one of USD 100 million for development of industrial parks and Kigali special economic zone (SEZ) in Rwanda and another one for USD 100 million for agriculture.
Besides one-to-one meeting, the two leaders also participated in delegation level talks to strengthen partnership in trade and investment, capacity building, development partnership and people to people ties.
President Kagame in his remarks said that Prime Minister Modi's visit represents a milestone between the long standing friendship and cooperation between Rwanda and India.
Earlier, PM Modi arrived in Rwanda on the first leg of his three-nation Africa tour, becoming the first Indian premier to visit the East African country.
He was accorded a red carpet welcome at the airport. "A historic visit starts with a special gesture. President @PaulKagame personally welcomed PM @narendramodi to Rwanda," the Prime Minister's Office tweeted.
His two-day state visit to Rwanda, one of Africa's fastest growing economies assumes significance as this is the first by an Indian premier.
After Rwanda, PM Modi will leave for Uganda on a two day visit on July 24 and 25. This will mark the first visit by an Indian Prime Minister to the country in over 20 years.
The Prime Minister will then head to South Africa, the last leg of his visit, to attend the BRICS summit.