FM visits Rwanda, seeks future-oriented cooperation

Foreign Minister Park Jin visited Rwanda and held talks with senior officials on ways to strengthen cooperation in technology and other future-oriented areas, his office said Sunday.

Park held talks with his Rwandan counterpart, Vincent Biruta, in Rwanda's capital of Kigali on Saturday (local time), and the two sides signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at strengthening strategic dialogue between the two countries' foreign ministries, according to Seoul's ministry.

Park is the first South Korean foreign minister to visit the African nation in 10 years.

The two ministers also signed an agreement for loans South Korea will provide through the Economic Development Cooperation Fund from 2022-2026 and vowed to expand their development cooperation to health, infrastructure and other areas.

The ministers noted the bilateral relationship has grown based on 60 years of development cooperation since the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations and agreed on the need to step up cooperation in future-oriented areas as two countries strong in technological innovation, the ministry said.

Park noted Rwanda's economic cooperation potential as the country develops into an ICT and logistics hub in east Africa while recording over 8 percent economic growth.

The same day, Park held separate talks with Rwandan President Paul Kagame and expressed hope to increase bilateral cooperation beyond development projects to ICT and future cutting-edge technologies.

Kagame responded that the two countries should create opportunities for mutual growth, noting South Korea is a model nation for Rwanda as a country that has achieved economic growth with advanced human resources and skills.

Park sought Kagame's support for South Korea's bid to host the 2030 World Expo and requested the president's attendance at a South Korea-Africa summit slated for next year.

Park is currently on a four-nation tour to Ethiopia, Zambia, Rwanda and the United Arab Emirates to seek the countries' support for South Korea's expo bid.

Source: Yonhap News Agency