STATE HOUSE SPOKESPERSON’S STATEMENT ON PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA’S STATE VISIT TO ISRAEL

President Uhuru Kenyatta will today depart for a 3-day State visit to Israel in a visit designed to cement trade, investment and security bonds between Kenya and Israel.

Kenya holds Israel as friend.  That friendship is not only borne out of a long history of fraternal relations but is also manifested in real and concrete cooperation in a number of important fields.

Kenya and Israel have concluded several cooperation agreements in Defence, Water Resources, Fisheries, Education, Technology and Scientific Co-operation.

Kenya has been a beneficiary of continued assistance from the Government of Israel in various fields, through Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV).  Among the sectors that have benefited from this cooperation have been: Agriculture and Irrigation, Health, Water and Sanitation, Education, Disaster Management and Security.  Kenya sincerely welcomes and appreciates this support.

Of particular note is the excellent cooperation on security matters that exists between our two states.  Israel’s support for the training of Kenyan security personnel and technical support to our security services is much appreciated.

Kenya, like Israel, is faced by numerous security challenges which require attention and resources to confront.

President Kenyatta expects that the cooperation on security matters and sharing of intelligence between the two countries is heightened to meet new and increasing threats.

On the war against terrorism, unfortunately Kenya has not been spared and has suffered a number of attacks from Al Shabaab terrorists group who have caused untold death and destruction on innocent Kenyans.  President Kenyatta will tell Israel that he expects Kenya can count on the state’s support and cooperation and benefit from its long expertise in this area.  Kenya believes terrorism is a global war that requires a global approach.

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Trade between Kenya and Israel has been growing steadily over the years and indeed a number of Israel companies do business in Kenya in fields such as agriculture, construction, communications, infrastructure, water management and irrigation.

It is the President’s desire to see the volume of trade and investment between our two countries expand significantly.

Kenya has many investment opportunities and as a country we are open and ready for international investors.  One area in which there is tremendous growth is in infrastructure development that requires substantial investment on annual basis.

During his visit, President Kenyatta will meet Israel’s President, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and senior government officials. He will also attend a forum on the economy, and visit key showcase projects, including in industry and agriculture.

EAST AFRICAN COMMUNITY SUMMIT (EAC)

Following his trip to Israel, the President will be attending the 17th Summit of East African Community Heads of State which will be taking place on the 29th of Februaryin Tanzania. As you know, the President’s has repeatedly accorded foreign policy priority to pursuing greater cooperation in the region and to realising the vision of the East African Community.

Top on the agenda for this year’s Summit, is the consideration of reports by the EAC Council of Ministers on: the negotiations on the admission of the Republic of South Sudan into the Community; Sustainable Financing Mechanisms for the EAC; and the EAC Institutional Review. The meeting will also consider Council reports on: the Model, Structure and Action Plan of the EAC Political Federation; Implementation of the Framework for Harmonized EAC Roaming Charges; Modalities for Promotion of Motor Vehicle Assembly in the region and Reduction of the Importation of Used Motor Vehicles from Outside the Community; and the Promotion of the Textile and Leather Industries in the region, and stopping importation of used clothes, shoes and other leather products from outside the region. The Summit is also expected to deliberate on a report by the Council on the verification exercise for the admission of the Republic of Somalia into the EAC.

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During the meeting, the Heads of State are also expected to launch the landmark East African e-Passport (electronic-Passport) which will further enable the free movement of persons within the region. We also expect the leaders to review the situation in Burundi.
PRESIDENT DOS SANTOS TO MAKE HISTORIC VISIT TO KENYA

Finally, I am pleased to announce  that Kenya will be hosting the President of Angola later this year. His Excellency Jose Eduardo Dos Santos will be in Kenya from May 17-18. It is the first such visit by an Angolan leader and demonstrate’s the President’s commitment to finding new markets for Kenyan goods and services, as well as deepening people-to-people contacts. More details around this visit will be available as we draw closer to that time.

Manoah Esipisu

State House Spokesperson

22nd February, 2016

Author

GoK

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