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Burundi: Foreign Relations

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL3746, tabled on 1 December 2016

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they last met, and when they next plan to meet, President Nkurunziza of Burundi.

Answered on

13 December 2016

Senior UK officials, including our High Commissioner in Rwanda (who is also our non-resident Ambassador to Burundi) met with President Nkurunziza twice in 2015 during visits of the United Nations Security Council to Burundi. During the course of these meetings a broad range of issues was discussed, including human rights, security and the importance of maintaining the principles of the 2000 Arusha Agreement, including the protection of minorities in Burundi. Since then President Nkurunziza's has largely withdrawn from engagement with the international community. This highlights the self-imposed isolation that is reducing the likelihood of finding a consensual solution to the ongoing crisis in Burundi.

In December 2015 the former Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (James Duddridge) met with Foreign Minister Nyamitwe in Burundi, as did our non-resident Ambassador to Burundi in July 2016. Our officials take part in regular consultations with Foreign Minister Nyamitwe alongside other EU member states pursuant to Article 96 of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP)-EU Partnership Agreement (also known as the Cotonou Agreement) of 2000, most recently in October 2016.

​Burundi's increasing self-imposed international isolation is particularly worrying. Our non-Resident Ambassador to Burundi and officials regularly request meetings with President Nkurunziza and will continue to do so, but given the self-imposed isolation they are increasingly difficult to secure.