President Pavel praises Rwanda's willingness to accept refugees

Czechia appreciates Rwanda's willingness to provide asylum to refugees, President Petr Pavel stated after meeting with his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame in the Rwandan capital Kigali on Saturday. Rwanda signed an agreement with the United Kingdom in December last year whereby asylum seekers in the UK would be transferred to Rwanda while waiting for their asylum claims to be heard, an approach which Mr. Pavel described as "constructive" and "humanitarian" on the part of Rwanda.

The possibility of similar cooperation is now being considered in the European Union. Both statesmen agreed that migrants can have more dignified conditions in Rwanda than in inadequate refugee centres in overburdened European countries. Mr. Kagame stated that Rwanda is willing to accept migrants from foreign countries, but it needs money as it is a small nation without many resources to support refugees.

The UK-Rwanda Asylum Partnership Treaty has been criticised by the UN Refugee Agency, which said it is not compatible with international refugee law, and by human rights groups, who say Rwanda is not a safe country for refugees, as Kagame's rule is considered authoritarian and politically repressive.

Author: Anna Fodor