President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and his equivalent Donald Trump of the United States have agreed to augment trade, tourism and security after deliberations between the two heads of state in Washington DC on Monday night.
Speaking during a bilateral meeting held at the Cabinet Office in the White House, President Kenyatta elucidated the importance of enhancing ties between the two nations.
In a statement by the Presidential Strategic Communications Unit (PSCU), President Kenyatta said: “We’ve had strong relations that stretch back – all the way back to our own independence. And we are here to cement that partnership. We are here to strengthen the support we have received as a country, especially with regards to our security and defense cooperation.”
President Kenyatta, who before the meeting had met and addressed members of the US Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU); subsequently invited the United States to increase its investments and trade in the African region, especially Kenya.
“You should take advantage of the opportunities created by my Big Four development blueprint by investing more in Kenya,” Kenyatta said.
According to the statement, President Trump on the other hand, declared that the US and Kenya will maintain working together to grow their partnership in trade and security.
“We do a lot of trade. And we do a lot of defense and security. And we’re working very much on security right now. And I appreciate you very much being with us and your staff. This is really great,” President Trump said.
The two heads of state also discussed the recently launched direct flights from Nairobi to New York by Kenya Airways that are set to commence in October. According to the pair, the initiative will boost tourism and trade for the mutual benefit of both the United States and Kenya.
They cited the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) as one of the main areas that is set to benefit from the direct flights from Nairobi.
Prior to the meeting in the Oval Office, President Kenyatta and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta were formally welcomed by their hosts President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump when they arrived at the White House at 2.00pm Washington DC time (9.00pm, Nairobi time).
After official formalities, President Trump ushered President Kenyatta into the Oval Office for one-on-one talks before joining their respective delegations for the bilateral talks in the Cabinet Room. Similarly First Ladies Melania Trump and Margaret Kenyatta held talks of their own in the West Wing of the White House.
Kenyatta’s visit makes him only the third African Leader to hold direct talks with President Trump since his appointment in the White House. The other two are Egypt’s President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi in April 2017 and Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari in April 2018.