Turkish visit a 'turning point' in Rwanda relations

Turkish visit a 'turning point' in Rwanda relations

Ambassador says foreign minister's trip to east African state will boost investment

KIGALI, Rwanda (AA) - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s visit to Rwanda will prove to be a “major turning point” in relations between the two countries, the Turkish ambassador to Kigali said Tuesday.

“The period ahead will make a great sensation in Rwanda as we have investment projects,” Mehmet Raif Karaca told Anadolu Agency.

He urged Turkish businesses to invest in the former Belgian colony. “Rwandans are very close to us because they are fed up with the colonial Western countries,” Karaca said. “Turks have no problem in Rwanda in terms of security for businessmen. They can come here and invest with confidence.”

Since ethnic violence resulted in the deaths of an estimated 800,000 people in the mid-1990s, the east African state has become a development success with a dramatic reduction in poverty and inequality.

Turkey opened an embassy in Kigali in 2014.

Karaca said Cavusoglu’s visit would be marked by a memorandum of cooperation on agricultural and economic cooperation, as well as an agreement on removing visa requirements for diplomats.

“This country provides the best environment for foreign economic activities in the area,” said the ambassador. “They have the best banking system and internet connection in the region.”

He also highlighted air connections, with Turkish Airlines one of three European airlines flying direct to Kigali.

“Ten percent of foreign investment in Rwanda is Turkish,” he said. Last year, Turkish construction firm Summa was hired to build the $300 million Kigali Convention Center, which is due to open in time for this year's African Union summit.

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