France and Rwanda agree to restore relations

PARIS Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:20am EST

France's Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner (L) and Claude Gueant, chief of staff at the French presidency, leave the Elysee Palace, in Paris, following the weekly cabinet meeting, May 6, 2009. Gueant met Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Sunday in Kigali where they agreed to resume relations. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

France's Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner (L) and Claude Gueant, chief of staff at the French presidency, leave the Elysee Palace, in Paris, following the weekly cabinet meeting, May 6, 2009. Gueant met Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Sunday in Kigali where they agreed to resume relations.

Credit: Reuters/Philippe Wojazer

PARIS (Reuters) - France and Rwanda have agreed to restore diplomatic relations, severed since 2006, the Elysee Palace said on Sunday.

Claude Gueant, chief of staff at the French presidency, met Rwandan President Paul Kagame on Sunday in Kigali where they agreed to resume relations, the palace said in a statement.

In Kigali, Rwanda's Foreign Minister Rosemary Museminali told reporters the move was the start of a process of normalising relations.

"(This) is a culmination of the discussions we have had ... and we believe is the beginning of building newer, stronger and better relations than we've had," she said.

Kigali cut diplomatic ties with Paris in 2006 after a French judge accused Kagame and several officials of involvement in the assassination former President Juvenal Habyarimana.

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