NEW YORK – Four-time president contests Dr. Col (Rtd) Kizza Besigye last week held a private meeting with Rwandan President Paul Kagame in New York City – the United States of America, PML Daily has learnt.
Sources indicate that Dr Besigye left the country last Friday aboard KLM Airlines for the US at the same time Mr. Kagame was in the US for the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly (September 24 to September 29).
The duo are said to have a two-hour meeting, with the agenda of the discussion remaining private.
“This was one of the many meetings between Dr Besigye and Mr Kagame. They meet very often,” a source in diplomatic circles, who did not want to be identified told this website.
“The meeting was even facilitated by some senior officials in the Uganda government, who include security,” the source added, without divulging details.
The meeting comes at a time Uganda and Rwanda are in talks to normalize bilateral relations following the unilateral closure of the Rwandan border with Uganda in February.
Asked whether such secretive meeting could jeopardise the ongoing talks between the countries, government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said: “That is none of our business. Besigye is free to travel anywhere and meet anybody. The same applies to Kagame.”
About two weeks ago, Uganda and Rwanda agreed to fast-track a treaty on extradition to provide a “framework for future exchange of criminal fugitives” as part of a deal to resolve the months-long tensions between the two countries. Rwanda has long accused Uganda of supporting its dissidents while Uganda accuses Rwandan operatives of espionage. Rwanda has accused Uganda of arresting its citizens but Uganda also says those arrested have committed crimes.
Uganda and Rwanda have had frosty relations and they hit lowest on February 28 when Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda in Katuna and Chyanika in Kabale and Kisoro districts, respectively.
On June 10 Kigali temporarily opened its Gatuna border for two weeks and closed it again.
Kigali accuses Kampala of among others supporting rebel groups to destabilise Rwanda, which claims Uganda denies.