The Democratic Republic of Congo President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi arrived at Melchior Ndadaye International Airport in Bujumbura on Saturday evening for a three-day state visit to Burundi.
He was received by Burundi’s Foreign Affairs minister Albert Shingiro before meeting President Evariste Ndayishimiye at State House Bujumbura.
President Tshisekedi was honoured at Burundi’s State House (Ntare House) with a 21-gun salute and tree planting to mark his visit.
After a closed-door meeting, the DRC leader said the two countries are seeking to strengthen bilateral ties and economic cooperation in agriculture, defence and security, and railway project.
This is the first visit for Mr Tshisekedi to Burundi since his country’s admission into the East African Community (EAC) in March this year. He last visited Burundi in June 2019.
DRC has been galvanising support from EAC countries to stem rebel activity in its eastern frontier which borders four member states, 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 through the central corridor Uvinza to Musongati, Gitega and Bujumbura in Burundi and Uvira and Kindu in eastern DR Congo.
While in Burundi, Mr Tshisekedi will visit two agricultural organisatons, including the main fertiliser manufacturer Fomi. He will also lay a wealth on former president Pierre Nkurunziza’s grave.