TOP US DIPLOMAT FOR AFRICAN AFFAIRS ASSURES KENYA OF CONTINUED SUPPORT

The United State’s top diplomat for African Affairs, Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has assured President Uhuru Kenyatta of America’s continued support for Kenya.

Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, says the US is committed to supporting Kenya’s efforts to foster regional stability and security. The US government will also continue supporting Kenya’s efforts to transform its economy.

One area where the US is keen in working more closely with Kenya is infrastructure development, a sector in which the Kenyan government has invested billions of shillings.

During their meeting here Friday, the President and the envoy also discussed the subject of direct flights between Kenya and the US, for which discussions are at their final stages.

Thomas-Greenfield, who was accompanied by US Ambassador Robert Godec during the meeting at State House, said the process of clearing Kenya Airways to fly to the US was at a final stage and the first flight could take off before the end of the year.

She also discussed regional security issues with the President, including recent developments in South Sudan and Somalia. On Somalia and the related issue of repatriation of refugees from Kenya, the envoy said the US was on the same page with Kenya.

She said the US appreciated the fact that the Kenya government was using a structured approach in its plan to close refugee camps and repatriate refugees. “We panicked at first but we are thankful it is a structured process,” said Thomas-Greenfield.

President Kenyatta said the US, as a true ally of Kenya, understands Kenya’s concerns and reasons for reaching the decision to close the refugee camp. “We are faced with real challenges and we need to remain focused,” said President Kenyatta even as he urged the US to increase its support for the stabilisation of Somalia.

The President said the US and the European Union needed to increase their support to strengthen the Somalia National Army as well as the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

Thomas-Greenfield said the US had responded to a call by President Kenyatta to the United Nations for a co-ordination of the military aid targeted at Somalia and the US was undertaking an initiative to bring together all countries giving military aid to Somalia so that there can be co-ordination and uniformity on issues such as training.

President Kenyatta had made the request for co-ordination of military aid to Somalia last month when he held a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in Brussels, Belgium.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK