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French Presidency Confirms Kagame Visit

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French Presidency Confirms Kagame Visit

President of Rwanda Paul Kagame will be received on Wednesday by Emmanuel Macron, in his first visit to Elysée since 2011, according to a statement issued by Elysée, the French State House, on Tuesday.

Kagame will be present in Paris on Wednesday and Thursday to participate in VivaTech conference, Rwanda nourishing its ambition to become one of the tech centres of the continent.

Kagame will be received at mid-day at Elysée for a lunch table bringing together the tech bosses including Mark Zuckeberg (Facebook) and Satya Nadella (Microsoft). He will afterwards meet tête-à-tête with Macron before issuing a common declaration.

On Thursday, as the Elysée states, the two presidents will take part in a visit to VivaTech Hall.

The two leaders have already met twice in a year, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and in India at the Solar Energy Summit.

“They want to work together despite the complexity of their countries’ bilateral relations,” states Elysée, emphasizing on the “convergences in the domains of innovation, climate or the operations to maintain peace in Africa.”

Multilateral questions may be at the heart of the two leaders meeting while Kagame is currently the African Union Chairperson set to hold a summit, in the start of July in Mauritania, in which Emmanuel Macron is slated to be the guest.

Kagame and Macron might also evoke the possible candidature of Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs, Louise Mushikiwabo to lead the International Organization of French-speaking Nations (OIF) which has been recently evoked in the media.

That post is currently occupied by the Canadian of the Haitian origin Michaiëlle Jean.

Kagame who went to power after stopping the genocide, has accused the French authorities of having supported the Hutu led government and having had part in killings that left more than a million people dead- between the months of April and July.

France has always denied whatever role in the massacres. But in 2010, during his visit in Kigali, former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy had recognized the “serious appreciation errors” of Paris and a “form of blindness” though he didn’t express the apology. Sarkozy later received Kagame at the Elysée in 2011.

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