President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo arrived in Bujumbura on Saturday evening for a three-day state visit to Burundi.
Before meeting President Evariste Ndayishimiye at State House Bujumbura, he was greeted by Burundi’s Foreign Affairs Minister Albert Shingiro.
To commemorate his visit, President Tshisekedi was honored with a 21-gun salute and tree planting at Burundi’s State House (Ntare House).
Following a closed-door meeting, the DRC leader stated that the two countries want to strengthen bilateral ties and economic cooperation in agriculture, defense and security, and the railway project.
Tshisekedi’s visit to Burundi is his first since his country’s admission to the East African Community (EAC) in March of this year. He last visited Burundi in June of this year.
DRC has been rallying support from EAC countries in order to quell rebel activity along its eastern border, which borders four member countries, including Burundi.
Last July, Presidents Ndayishimiye and Tshisekedi signed several agreements in Kinshasa during the former’s visit to the country. They included cooperation development; maintenance and strengthening of peace, defence and security; trade facilitation; and political and diplomatic consultations.
“We are looking at common interest areas that include the railway project which will link Tanzania, Burundi and DRC,” President Tshisekedi said at a press briefing in Bujumbura on Saturday.
The railway project is expected to connect Tanzania to Musongati, Gitega, and Bujumbura in Burundi, as well as Uvira and Kindu in eastern DR Congo, via the central corridor Uvinza.
Tshisekedi will visit two agricultural organisations in Burundi, including the main fertiliser manufacturer, Fomi. He will also leave a fortune on the grave of former President Pierre Nkurunziza.
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