The Israel-Rwanda Parliamentary Friendship Group, headed by MK Avraham Neguise (Likud) was launched on Monday during a festive ceremony at the Knesset with the participation of MKs Anat Berko and David Amsalem (Likud), Rwandan Ambassador to Israel Joseph Rutabana, Rwanda`s Honorary Consul in Israel Hezi Bezalel and representatives of the Foreign Ministry.

”Both Rwanda and Israel built themselves after horrors their people had endured,” Neguise said during the ceremony. ”Now we look to the future. Following the prime minister`s visit to Rwanda last month, we now have an opportunity to further strengthen the relations between the countries in a variety of fields, particularly the parliamentary relations.”

MK Berko said she was impressed by the fact that the Rwandan parliament has the highest percentage of female lawmakers of all the legislatures in the world. ”The Knesset should learn from Rwanda, which not only talks about gender equality, but also acts,” she added.

Ambassador Rutabana mentioned that he had updated the Rwandan parliament on the establishment of the friendship group. ”On the Rwandan side there is a significant desire to deepen the parliamentary ties,” he stated.

The envoy said PM Benjamin Netanyahu`s ”very successful” visit to his country was a ”milestone marking the good relations between our countries.”