Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and the visiting King Abdullah II of Jordan have committed to their two countries forging stronger military ties to combat emerging security threats.

The two leaders made the commitment when King Abdullah joined the Kenyan leader to witness a joint exercise conducted by elite units from the Kenya Defence Force (KDF) and the Royal Jordanian Armed Forces, here Monday. King Abdullah is on his first official visit to Kenya.

Exercise Swift Eagle, conducted at the Embakasi Garrison in Nairobi, simulated threats posed by terrorists and how to counter them.

Two elite units from KDF, the Special Forces and Ranger Regiment, were joined by the Quick Reaction Force from the Jordanian military in displaying tactics to deal with conventional and asymmetric war threats.

President Kenyatta said the joint exercise was aimed at creating and improving inter-operability between the Kenyan and Jordanian forces.

“I am convinced that now our forces are ready for real problems in either of our countries, or elsewhere, should the need arise to tackle either conventional or asymmetric threats,” he added.

He thanked Jordan for its military co-operation with Kenya which had seen more than 60 Kenya Air Force officers trained by the Jordanian military. Another 38 will have trained by February next year.

The training is part of a Mutual Defence Co-operation Agreement between Kenya and the Kingdom.

“I would also like to register our appreciation of the assistance the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has extended to our defence forces, enhancing our Air Force and air crew capacity through a training programme covering diverse skills,” said the President at the end of the exercise which had been running for the last eight days.

King Abdullah said Jordan stands shoulder to shoulder with Kenya in confronting the threats of terrorism. “We stand shoulder to shoulder with you against the threats of today. It is a threat we did not ask for but are willing to fight,” added the King.

He said the aim of the joint military exercise was to achieve greater co-ordination between Kenyan and Jordanian forces, an aim that has been achieved. “We have started a new chapter in our partnership of friendship. It is a new beginning for Kenya and Jordan,” said King Abdullah.

Kenyan Defence Cabinet Secretary (Minister) Raychelle Omamo said the partnership was essential for maintaining global peace while the Chief of Defence Forces, General Samson Mwathethe, said the set goal of the joint military exercise had been successfully achieved.

Later at State House, President Kenyatta and the King held talks focusing on wider bilateral issues including ways to expand trade between Kenya and Jordan.