, CAIRO, Dec 28 – Vice president Kalonzo Musyoka and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak have emphasised the importance of a peaceful Sudan irrespective of the outcome of the referendum in the south.
In a meeting at the Presidential Palace in Cairo on Tuesday, Mr Mubarak said he has spoken to both President Omar al Bashir and Vice President Silva Kiir, of the need to ensure that the outcome the January 9 referendum – to determine the future of the south – does not result in the resumption of hostilities.
Kenya and Egypt have a direct stake in the stability of the greater Sudan because they share borders to the south and to the north respectively.
Kenya also played a key role in mid-wifing the peace process that lead to the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in January 2005 in Nairobi.
The two leaders pledged continued support to the leadership of the north and the south in the days leading to the referendum, due in two weeks time and more so in the aftermath.
"We are committed to working with the leadership of Sudan after the referendum whichever the way the vote goes, in order to ensure that peace prevails," Mr Musyoka said after the meeting.
President Mubarak and Kenyan VP also discussed continued cooperation between Kenya and Egypt in ensuring that the Nile waters are used for the benefit of all the riparian countries, without jeopardising the interest of receiving state.
Egypt relies almost entirely on the waters of the Nile for the survival of over 80 million people.
At the same time Kenya stands to benefit from more scholarships from Egypt for students pursuing degrees in medicine, pharmacy, engineering and Islamic studies.
This was disclosed during the meeting between the Vice President and Dr Ahmed El Tayyeb, the Grand Sheikh of El Azhar Mosque.
Dr Tayyeb said the scholarships this year have been widened to include secular courses where\’s previously scholarships were only open to students taking Islamic studies.
Mr Musyoka praised Egypt for practicing religious tolerance saying it was heartening that majority Muslims live harmoniously with minority Christians.
The Vice President also met with Pope Shenouda of the Coptic Church and thanked him for sponsoring a hospital and health care programs in Kenya.
The Vice President who is on official visit to Egypt is accompanied by Trade Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere, Water Assistant Minister Ferdinand Waititu, Foreign Affairs Assistant Minister Richard Onyonka and MPs Peter Mwathi (Limuru), Mithika Linturi (Igembe) and Isaac Ruto (Chepalungu).