Rwandan President Paul Kagame has held talks with the head of the Catholic Church in the world, Pope Francis, at the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican City.
A Rwanda government press release said the two discussed several aspects of the relationship between Kigali and the Holy See.
"The President commended the church’s contributions to Rwanda’s socio-economic development, particularly in the education and health sectors," read the press release.
Spirit of openness
President Kagame is accompanied by Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo.
"Today’s meeting was characterised by a spirit of openness and mutual respect,'' the press release quoted Ms Mushikiwabo saying.
"It is a positive step forward in the relationship between Rwanda and the Holy See, based on a frank and shared understanding of Rwanda’s history and the imperative to combat genocide ideology.
"It allows us to build a stronger base for restoring harmony between Rwandans and the Catholic Church."
Rwanda has made remarkable recovery and progress since it suffered a devastating genocide in 1994.
The genocide targeting Tutsi and moderate Hutus, claimed an estimated one million lives.