By Sena Guler, Zuhal Demirci, Tugcenur Yilmaz and Tevfik Durul
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey is pleased with Rwanda’s quick action to shut down a school affiliated with the FETO terror group, Turkey’s foreign minister said on Monday.
“Rwanda has made us and Turkish people so happy especially on the issue of FETO, as it immediately shut down the FETO-affiliated school,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told a joint news conference alongside his Rwandan counterpart Richard Sezibera in the Turkish capital Ankara.
The Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup in Turkey of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkey accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.
Cavusoglu warned that the terror group is working to resume their activities in Rwanda using various methods, adding that Turkish officials briefed the Rwandan delegation on this during today’s meeting.
Touching on the massacres of Rwanda’s Tutsi minority in the East African country 25 years ago, Cavusoglu said in the decades since the country has made great economic and social strides to become a “monument of stability.”
“We share Rwanda’s sensitivity to the issue of massacres of the Tutsis. We’ll continue our solidarity with the people of Rwanda,” he said.
More than 800,000 Rwandans were massacred in 1994 in a matter of 100 days by members of the country’s Hutu ethnic majority.
The victims mainly came from the Tutsi minority.
- Turkish investments in Rwanda
Cavusoglu said Turkish firms have investments in Rwanda of over $400 million and that Turkey will encourage companies to boost these investments.
He also said the two countries should hold business forums to increase trade and investment.
Cavusoglu highlighted that national flag carrier Turkish Airlines flies to Rwanda’s capital Kigali seven days a week, helping link the country to the world.
He also encouraged Rwandan students to pursue education in Turkey under the Turkiye Scholarships program.
Cavusoglu and Sezibera signed an agreement on visa exemptions for service passport holders as well as a cooperation agreement for diplomatic training and exchange of information and documents.
Sezibera, for his part, said the cooperation between the two countries did not start a long time ago but “has increased very rapidly over the last few years.”
“About three years ago, the minister [Cavusoglu] paid a working visit to Rwanda. We signed many agreements at that time. Today, I reciprocated the visit and we have signed an additional series of agreements,” he said.
He noted that the agreements aim to accelerate cooperation and ease doing business and added that with further exemptions in the future people’s movement will also be easier than today.
Sezibera also urged “Turkish tourists to consider Rwanda as a destination for leisure, for conferences, for meetings.”