The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: New Envoys Present Credentials

FOUR new envoys to Rwanda presented their credentials to President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro yesterday. They are from France, Kingdom of Thailand, Canada and Sri Lanka.

The new French ambassador to Rwanda, Michel Flesch, told journalists that his country was interested in seeing Rwanda achieve her economic development strategy.

"During my term of office I will cement the bilateral relations between France and Rwanda and focus more on helping the country to achieve its Vision 2020," he said.

Without divulging more details about the relationship between the two countries that had gone sour in the past years, Flesch said he intended to focus on constructive and positive things and leave the past behind.

Flesch has served in different capacities in French Embassies in Cameroon, Luxembourg, Sainte Lucie, and in Vietnam. He is a former Ambassador of France to Guinea Bissao.

Ittiporn Boonpracong, Ambassador of Kingdom of Thailand, with a permanent residence in Nairobi, Kenya, said he will push the relationship between his country and Rwanda to "a more meaningful, closer and advanced level."

"We can benefit from one another through business exchange opportunities and we are ready to support Rwanda in terms of human resource development and technical cooperation in various fields, " he noted.

The 56-year old is an international law graduate and has worked in the public service in Thailand since 1980, first at the Ministry of Interior, and then the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He served in several diplomatic postings in Kenya and at the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the UN in New York and Geneva.

Prior to his appointment, he was Director General of the Department of Treaties and Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

David Angell, the new Canadian High Commissioner, said: "Canada and Rwanda have a long standing and close, friendly relationship. I will deepen this relationship further during my tenure."

"I want to focus on promoting cooperation in the areas of oil and gas explorations and infrastructure, among others; for stance, Canadian companies are currently engaged in oil and gas exploration in this country".

Angell stated that the Canadian government is committed to tracking down Genocide fugitives that might be hiding in the country so that the North American state doesn't become a haven of war crimes.

The Canadian envoy was the high Commissioner in Nigeria from 2004 to 2007 and has a permanent residence in Nairobi.

Thambirajav Raveenthiran, the Sri Lanka High Commissioner to Rwanda, whose country is famous for textiles, said he would embark on bringing investors to Rwanda to invest in the textile industry.

"For the past two years the bilateral relations between Rwanda and Sri Lanka have been growing at a fast pace. We are currently identifying new areas for future cooperation between the two countries most, especially in textile and agro-processing industries," he said.

The 52-year-old has worked in the Ministry of External Affairs of Sri Lanka since 1992 and served in several capacities in Sri Lankan missions in Pakistan, Kenya and Germany.

Prior to his appointment as High Commissioner, he was Director General of the African Division in the Ministry of External Affairs of Sri Lanka since 2010. He has a permanent residence in Nairobi.

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