Boris Johnson accused opponents of Rwanda’s deportation policy of having “condescending attitudes” toward the African country, with the prime minister saying he hoped to use his visit to Kigali to change opinions.
Mr. Johnson He said RwandaHosting the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) was “an opportunity for all of us to understand what the partnership has to offer, what the Rwandans have to offer, and help dispel some of the condescending attitudes towards Rwanda”.
The prime minister joked that he was aware he had arrived in Kigali before “anyone who traveled through the canal illegally”, insisting the policy was a good idea.
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His comments come after weeks of wrangling over this policy, culminating in the first scheduled flight On the ground after a last minute intervention by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
The government later announced its intention to introduce new legislation in the House of Commons in an effort to mitigate the influence of the European Court of Human Rights in British cases.
One of the alleged critics of refugee policy in Rwanda is Prince CharlesAnd the Who is said to have told friends The decision to deport asylum-seekers to Rwanda is “appalling”.
The Prince of Wales, who represents the Queen for the first time in CHOGM, is He is scheduled to meet the Prime Minister on Friday for a cup of teain what could prove to be a rather awkward meeting.
Johnson downplayed the split before leaving for Kigali, telling reporters he had “no evidence to confirm… about the prince’s comments”.
“This is a plan to deal with the horrific abuse of people crossing the canal, and no court has decided that it is illegal,” he insisted.
The prime minister is likely to face more questions about the Rwanda plan
But the prime minister may face more questions about policy during his three-day visit to Rwanda, given that the UK has registered its human rights concerns in Rwanda with the United Nations.
In January 2021, the British government expressed concerns about “continued restrictions on civil and political rights and media freedom”.
The UK also urged Rwanda to “draft the Commonwealth’s values of democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights”.
Three major events in Johnson’s diary
For the prime minister, the Commonwealth summit begins with a trio of major events over nine days of international diplomacy, which he hopes will provide an opportunity to reform his power and standing after A vote of confidence in him earlier this month.
From a summit of the 54-nation Commonwealth of Nations in Kigali on Thursday, the prime minister will then head to Germany on Saturday to meet G7 leaders, before concluding his tour at the NATO meeting in Madrid.
There is much to be collaborated on, as the prime minister is keen to use these summits to focus on the international diplomatic and military response to the Ukraine war, with food security likely to be a theme during the three gatherings as leaders grapple with the complexity of trying to export crops in the midst of conflict.
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He is expected to use high-level meetings to warn of war fatigue as the conflict continues into its fourth month with no end in sight. Johnson is arguably Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s closest ally and will want to use these meetings to press his case.
But there are points of tension that go beyond the Rwandan relocation scheme. The prime minister is heading to meetings with European allies and the United States as divisions over Brexit return to the agenda.
At the G7, the prime minister will meet fellow European leaders German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron, as well as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, for the first time since the government introduced legislation to Replacing parts of the Brexit treaty it signed with Brussels in 2020 The European Union, in turn, resumed legal proceedings against London.
It’s All A Little Bit: Tensions Over Northern Ireland’s Trade Arrangements Overshadowed last year’s G7 summit in Cornwall He also painted in the US – and he could do it again.
Ahead of last year’s meeting, US President Joe Biden ordered officials to issue an extraordinary diplomatic rebuke to Johnson, accusing the UK of “fueling tensions” in Ireland.
Dealing and forging alliances over the conflict in Ukraine did well for the prime minister in the first quarter of the year. But the long-running struggles over Brexit have fully erupted with Johnson’s return to the world stage, and it will require a real dose of diplomacy from him not to let those divisions destroy the attempt to reset this one.