Presidents Herzog and Kagame
Presidents Herzog and KagameMaayan Toaf / GPO

President Isaac Herzog met on Sunday with President of Rwanda Paul Kagame, as part of events marking the 30th anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi people.

President Herzog presented his counterpart with a necklace worn by millions around the world calling for the release of the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. “This is for the release of the hostages, for which we all pray and want them back as soon as possible. It says ‘My heart is in Gaza,'” he explained.

President Herzog was the first Israeli leader to visit Africa since October 7, and the visit took place as part of Israel’s ongoing international efforts to secure the release of the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.

Earlier, the President spoke with former US President Bill Clinton. The two discussed the urgent need to bring the hostages home, and the importance of the world’s struggle against global terror.

Later, the President participated in a special wreath-laying ceremony at the central monument and attended the main state ceremony marking 30 years since the genocide in Rwanda against the Tutsi people, alongside dozens of international leaders, presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers, and heads of international organizations.

Among those addressing the ceremony, President of the European Council, Charles Michel condemned the barbaric attack by Hamas on October 7th and called for the immediate release of the hostages held by terrorists in Gaza.

Later, President Herzog went on to hold diplomatic meetings with leaders from around the world in which he reiterated the urgent need to secure the release of the hostages held by Hamas for 6 months, including women, children, and the elderly. He highlighted the necessity of the joint fight against terrorism worldwide.

“I stood today with leaders from around the world to honor the memory of the victims of the genocide of the Tutsi people in Rwanda," President Herzog commented.

"Three decades after these atrocities the world must look squarely at the terrible crimes and recognize the true horrors of genocide - the deliberate attempt to annihilate a people.

"The world must not allow the politicization of genocide, it must not allow the belittling of the horror of such crimes and the degrading of the memory of the victims of genocide," He added.

The President concluded: "The Jewish people know all too well what it means to be threatened with annihilation. We know all too well what it means to be the victims of genocide, terror, and hatred against our people. Even today - as we are erroneously and falsely accused of modern blood libels - we remain the target of a vicious and evil regime in Tehran, with its proxies across the region, whose stated aim is the destruction of the Jewish nation.

"We must all stand together in the promise, Never Again.”