World Bulletin/News Desk
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Tuesday accusations by Rwandan officials that France was complicit in the genocide that killed 800,000 people were "disgraceful", the firmest rebuttal since a row broke out between the countries.
France - an ally of the Rwandan government that ruled before the genocide - did not take part in Monday's 20-year commemoration after rebel-turned-president, Paul Kagame, renewed charges of Paris' "direct role" in the killings at the weekend.
"I cannot accept these disgraceful accusations that suggest France could have been complicit in a genocide in Rwanda when its honour is to always separate fighting factions," Valls said in a speech to parliament presenting his new government's policies.
French President Francois Hollande, who had met Kagame in Brussels last week, avoided reference to the row on Monday saying in a statement that Paris stood by Rwandans to honour the memory of the victims.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal said: "There was a warm meeting between president (Hollande) and Kagame in Brussels which is why we were extremely surprised by these statements.
Latterly he had appeared to drop the issue, however, as France acknowledged mistakes and created a genocide investigation unit as the two countries began to rebuild their relationship.Last Mod: 13 Nisan 2014, 12:10