Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Uhuru holds talks with British PM

PHOTO | ANDREW COWIE President Uhuru Kenyatta (R) leaves a hotel in central London on May 7, 2013, as he prepares to attend a conference on Somalia.
PHOTO | ANDREW COWIE President Uhuru Kenyatta (R) leaves a hotel in central London on May 7, 2013, as he prepares to attend a conference on Somalia.  AFP
Posted  Tuesday, May 7   2013 at  19:07
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday met and held bilateral talks with the British Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron.
During the meeting that took place at Lancaster House before the commencement of the London Somalia Conference, the British Prime Minister praised the strong historical ties that Kenya and the United Kingdom have continued to enjoy.
The Prime Minister said the relations between the two countries have been mutually beneficial and underlined the commitment of the British Government to strengthen the relations even further.
Saying there was room for further improvements in all areas of development co-operation, Mr Cameron said the UK was particularly keen on enhancing the levels of trade and investment between the two countries.
Mr Cameron commended Kenya on the frontline role the country has continued to play in the East and Horn of Africa region noting that Kenya’s involvement in Somalia and the Sudan had contributed to peace and stability in those countries.
Mr Cameron further reaffirmed the commitment of the British Government to continue partnering with Kenya, other IGAD countries and the international community in general, in the search for stability and durable peace in Somalia.
The Prime Minister further underscored the need for the international community to strengthen its engagement in Somalia so as to consolidate the gains that have already been made.
On his part, President Kenyatta applauded the fraternal relations between the two countries saying his Government appreciates the assistance that the United Kingdom has continued to extend to Kenya.
The President said the assistance which targeted critical areas such as education, health as well as humanitarian and social protection had improved the lives of many Kenyans particularly in the rural areas.
Said the President, “I am convinced that we can expand the scope of our bilateral cooperation and traditional friendship based on mutual trust and respect for the benefit of our two countries.”
The President further said that the Kenyan economy is on a strong growth trajectory and invited the British business community to take advantage of the various investment opportunities available in the country.
President Kenyatta, at the same time, expressed his gratitude to the British Prime Minister for his Government’s efforts in collaborating with IGAD member states towards stabilization of Somalia.
The President thanked Mr Cameron for the timely decision to convene the London Conference on Somalia, saying the Conference was a follow up on the last Conference held last year and offers a unique opportunity for initiating new partnerships between Somalia and the international community.
Noting that a lot of progress had been made towards stabilization in Somalia, President Kenyatta underscored the need for all Somalis, both at home and outside Somalia, to be engaged in the reconstruction of their country with the assistance of the international community.
In this regard, the President said his Government would consult the Somalia Government and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in order to develop modalities for the safe and orderly return of Somali refugees to enable them participate in the reconstruction of their country.

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