President Uhuru Kenyatta and his United States counterpart Joe Biden held a meeting at White House Thursday.
The meeting was the leaders’ first in-person meeting and President Biden’s first bilateral meeting in the Oval Office with an African leader.
“I’m happy to have the President of Kenya here, President Kenyatta. It’s an honor to welcome you to the White House, to the Oval Office. Good to see you again.” President Biden told his guest
“Thank you very much, Mr. President. And let me once again say it’s a great pleasure to see you once again.” President Kenyatta said in response
“I don’t know whether many will recall, but President Biden, in a former life, visited Kenya where we had an opportunity to meet when he was Vice President when he’d come over — again, on issues related to strengthening the partnership and the relationship between our two countries. And it’s really a great pleasure and honor to see you again,” added Kenya’s Head of State
During the meeting, the two leaders reaffirmed the importance of strong ties between Nairobi and Washington.
Biden acknowledged that Kenya is a strong bilateral partner and a leader on regional and global issues. He said the United States is committed to working closely with Kenya to advance peace and security, both in the region and globally.
And on this, the US leader recognized that Kenya was particularly doing a good job.
“You know, the U.S.-Kenya strategic partnership is essential — we both, I think, believe is essential to addressing key regional and global challenges. And I want to thank Kenya for your — thank you for your leadership in defending the peace, security, and democratic instincts of the region and your country. You’re doing a heck of a job.” He remarked
President Biden disclosed that this was part of the agenda of their meeting and that they were going to discuss what more Kenya and the United States can do together on the Horn of Africa to advance peace and security.
They also indicated they will deliberate at length about the promotion of democracy and human rights, strengthening financial transparency, accelerating economic growth, and tackling climate change.
To boost the ongoing fight against the covid-19 pandemic, Biden disclosed that his administration was making an additional one-time donation of 17 more million doses of J&J vaccine to the AU and that more of these will be sent to Kenya by the end of the year.
“We’re continuing our shared fight against COVID. The United States has donated 2.8 million doses of vaccine to Kenya as part of the 50 million doses we’ve donated to the African Union.” He said
President Kenyatta welcomed the announcement by Biden noting will help the continent in building back after disruptions caused by the global health crisis.
“I’m happy to hear your new announcement of that increase because as many of you will know, as a continent, we are lagging well behind the rest of the world in terms of being able to vaccinate our people.” He said
President Kenyatta further appreciated the working relations between the US and Kenya as they partner, especially in regard to the fight against terrorism globally. He noted that the United States has been a very strong partner to Kenya in that particular fight.
“This is an area, again, I’m hoping to have an opportunity to further discuss with the President.” He said
“We are also keenly very grateful with his strong position, especially with regard to climate change. This is an area where Kenya has made tremendous progress in her own right and where we are firmly committed to the Paris Agreement, and we’re glad to see the United States has now rejoined.” He added
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