The New Times (Kigali)

15 January 2013

Rwanda, South Korea Seek Closer Ties

The government and the Republic of Korea are seeking closer cooperation to, among other things, promote trade and advance world peace during their tenure as newly elected non-permanent members of the UN Security Council (UNSC).

Kim Sung-Hwan, the Korean Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, disclosed this yesterday after meeting with President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro.

The President and Kim Sung-Hwan engaged in discussions ranging from both countries' role on the UNSC to the promotion of trade partnerships between their respective private sectors, according to the latter.

"As newly-elected members of the UN Security Council, Korea intends to enhance bilateral relations with Rwanda, as well as exchange ideas on how to collaborate to promote peace and protect civilians," Sung-Hwan told journalists yesterday after talks with President Kagame.

"We have a long-standing and healthy relationship with Rwanda. We have agreed to protect traders and investors willing to work in either country. Our people will interact more as well as have the opportunity to expand their businesses."

Rwanda's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Louise Mushikiwabo said, "This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Rwanda's diplomatic relations with the Republic of Korea and we share positive bilateral relations aimed at supporting the growth of our nations. The visit today signifies the importance both countries place on working together on the UNSC."

Rwanda's diplomatic bureau in Seoul, the Capital of South Korea, was opened in 2008. It became a fully-fledged embassy in February 2009, while Korea appointed its Head of Mission to Rwanda last year.

Korea has supported various projects, including the feasibility study on Nyabarongo River, the ICT School at the National University of Rwanda and a regional polytechnic centre at Kicukiro.

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