France expresses regret at Rwanda's decision to cut ties 2006-11-26 23:06:36

    PARIS, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- France on Sunday voices regret at Rwanda's decision to cut diplomatic ties with it after a French judge accused some Rwandan officials of being involved in the 1994 genocide.

    French judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere is investigating the assassination of then Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana that year, which sparked the killing of more than 500,000 people in 100days.

    Bruguiere's request for international arrest warrants against nine ranking Rwandans in the case "is not at all a political decision by the French government," Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy said on Radio-J.

    Bruguiere issued the warrants Wednesday, accusing the nine of plotting the downing of President Habyarimana's airplane on April 6, 1994. Bruguiere, who was invited to the investigation because the crew on the plane was French, also accused current President Paul Kagame of ordering the plane shot down.

    As a response, the Rwandan government announced on Friday it would cut diplomatic relations with France from next Monday.

    "I regret that the Rwandan government responded to judge Bruguiere's investigation by stopping diplomatic relations with France, especially because we were starting to revive strong relations with this country,'' Douste-Blazy said.

    According to reports from Rwarnda, French Ambassador Dominique Derchef left Rwandan capital Kigali on Saturday night, and the 29 other embassy employees were to leave by Monday night.

Editor: Mu Xuequan
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