Rwanda, New Zealand Lawmakers Seek Stronger Ties

The Speaker of the House of Representatives of New Zealand, Trevor Mallard, on Wednesday led a delegation of five legislators from his country to a meeting with his Rwandan counterpart Donatille Mukabalisa.

Mukabalisa was also accompanied by a group of other lawmakers in a meeting that took place at the Parliamentary Buildings in Kimihurura, which aimed to deepen relations between parliaments from both countries.

The delegation is in Rwanda for a five-day working visit.

During the meeting, the visiting parliamentarians said that they are committed to strengthening ties with their counterparts of Rwanda.

Speaker Trevor said that the aim of their visit was to understand the history of Rwanda and its context and to stand in solidarity with Rwanda during the ongoing commemoration, for the 25th time, of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

"We already have a partnership with Rwanda but we don't really understand its context and history. We came here to learn," he said.

He added: "Genocide is unacceptable and we have to have international systems, peacekeeping systems which intervene whenever there are conflicts and killings. We are here as Rwanda commemorates f(the Genocide) to better understand Rwanda's history and its experience," he added.

"We have a common heritage as members of the Commonwealth, we do have a good relationship and the more we interact the more we will understand each other and this will be good for both our peace and economic growth," he emphasized.

Speaker Mukabalisa said that the visit of New Zealand shows that they understand the dangers of genocide (ideology) and are ready to fight it.

"Visiting us within the 100 days of commemoration is a good sign. They understand and respect what it means to us," she said.

"We already work together mainly in education but we want to extend our relationship to many other sectors as well. We look forward to working with them not only in education but also in other sectors like health and agriculture.

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