SHARED INTERESTS

Uhuru hopes talks with Biden will cement trade, security ties

He is the first African leader to be invited to the White House under the current administration

In Summary

•The two leaders will discuss the strong US-Kenyan bilateral relationship.

•Kenya assumed non-permanent membership of the Council for the third time in January this year.

US President Joe Biden and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
US President Joe Biden and President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Image: COURTESY

President Uhuru Kenyatta is hoping his one-on-one talks with his US counterpart Joe Biden will strengthen the economic and security ties between the two countries.

Uhuru said the US and Kenya in some instances have similar business interests and are faced with common threats, hence the need to cement security ties, improve trade and investment linkages.

“It is something I have pushed with former Presidents Barrack Obama and Donald Trump and now Biden. I desire to strengthen our economic and security cooperations,” Uhuru told Citizen TV in New York.

Uhuru will be the first African leader invited to the White House under the current administration.

A statement from the White House said the two leaders will discuss the strong US-Kenyan bilateral relationship and the need for transparency and accountability to domestic and international financial systems.

Uhuru met Biden on Thursday as Kenya took on the presidency of the UN Security Council for October, a role which is assumed in turn by each  Council member.

Kenya assumed non-permanent membership of the Council for the third time in January this year.

In the interview with Jeff Koinange Live, Uhuru said Kenya’s peace and stability cannot be guaranteed if her neighbours are in armed conflict.

“Our peace and stability are based on the harmony of our neighbours. That is why we are striving to have good relations with our neighbours. We are always pushing our hand in handling disagreements, which is dialogue and consultation and not confrontation,” he explained.

The UN Security Council which will be chaired by Uhuru is charged with the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security.

The council’s powers include the imposition of sanctions and the authorisation of military deployments in response to situations which it determines to be a threat to international peace and security.

Uhuru will be responsible for routine administrative functions such as calling meetings, approving the agenda, presiding over meetings and presenting statements from the council.

He assumes the office as neighbouring Ethiopia stares at war and a humanitarian crisis.

Kenya shares a border with Ethiopia and has been partnering with the US to stop terrorism.

Speaking to reporters at the UN headquarters on Tuesday, Uhuru said the two sides in Ethiopia need to come to a political resolution because we do not believe that there is any military solution.

Ethiopia’s government has been rejecting international mediation. Recent emphasis has been on trying to find an African solution to the crisis.

Uhuru said he hopes Kenya will take advantage of her new role at the UN to pursue the African agenda and the African diaspora agenda.

“We have to address climate change, conflict between nations, the impact of Covid-19 pandemic and access to vaccines. These are some of the issues Kenya will want to be addressed on behalf of Africa,” he said.

He said Kenya advocates for a peaceful resolution to conflicts.

“We have been a haven for millions who have fled prosecution in their countries,” Uhuru said.

“We can play a pivotal role in the climate agenda because we are one of the few countries globally that boast that over 70 per cent of its energy is green.”

Asked whether one month would be enough to achieve his dreams, Uhuru said, “We have one month at the presidency but we have a long period as members at the security council.”

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris