NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 3 – The government has clarified that no agreements were signed between Kenya and Iran, only Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs).
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Uhuru Kenyatta said the MOUs were to basically facilitate future trade agreements between the two countries.
Mr Kenyatta was speaking during the signing of a loan agreement between Kenya and Kuwait that will see the country receive Sh735 million for the upgrade of the Wajir Hospital.
“Once the project is complete the Wajir District hospital will become a referral hospital that will serve the North Eastern Province. This support is in line with our government’s commitment to eliminate inequality by paying special attention to the less developed parts of our country like the North Eastern Province,” Mr Kenyatta said.
Meanwhile, the Minister said that the government had not shifted its trade policy to focus on the Middle East, but is open for trade with whoever is interested.
“And to this end between the 16th and the 17th of March of this year the government is planning to hold the third round table conference with our Arab development partners and financial institutions, to discuss and agree on a three-year investment program,” Mr Kenyatta said.
The increased trade relations between the country and Middle East, especially within the President Kibaki regime, have not gone unnoticed by most quarters.
The biggest indication yet was the recent visit by Iranian President Ahmadinejad to the country last week.
Mr Kenyatta was reacting to media reports suggesting that the government had cancelled an oil deal estimated at Sh106 billion.