, ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Mar 12- Kenya and Ethiopia will accelerate implementation of infrastructure projects to tap the economic potential of the two countries.
President Uhuru Kenyatta and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn noted that infrastructure projects linking Kenya and Ethiopia were key to the realisation of the ideals of shared prosperity of the countries, peoples and the sub-region.
In a communiqué issued after bilateral talks in Addis Ababa, the two leaders noted that the rapport between Kenya and Ethiopia had contributed to the progress achieved in the execution of the region’s largest infrastructure project – the Lamu Port and Southern Sudan-Ethiopia Transport (LAPSSET) Corridor.
President Kenyatta and Prime Minister Desalegn lauded the promotion of the Joint Ministerial Commission (JMS) to a biennial High Level Commission.
“This elevation will result in further enhancing cooperation to the ultimate benefit of the citizens of the two countries,” the communiqué said in part.
The President and the Prime Minister welcomed the enactment of the Special Status Agreement (SSA) signed in 2012. They agreed that the agreement provided an effective framework for economic relations between Kenya and Ethiopia.
Given the importance of the SSA in boosting economic ties between Kenya and Ethiopia, President Kenyatta and Prime Minister Desalegn directed their relevant ministers to hasten its implementation.
President Kenyatta congratulated Prime Minister Desalegn for his stewardship of the African Union during his tenure as Chair of the continental body.
“It was during this period that the African Union reinforced its role as the voice of the continent in the multilateral arena,” President Kenyatta said.
The two leaders considered the situation in South Sudan and expressed concern over deteriorating security in Africa’s youngest nation. They resolved to continue their engagement with all parties to the conflict through the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.
Both leaders agreed that all parties in the South Sudan conflict should recommit themselves to dialogue and cessation of hostilities to give peace a chance.
President Kenyatta and Prime Minister Desalegn also committed to work closely under IGAD’s framework, in support of the people of Somalia in their quest for lasting peace and stability in the Horn of Africa nation.
Noting that stability in Somalia was vital for success in the fight against terrorism, the Kenyan leader and his Ethiopian counterpart urged the international community to support peace initiatives in the country.
Both leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the security, common values and fundamental interests of the region. Together, they set themselves to combat the region’s difficulties, among them drought, climate change, terrorism, piracy, money laundering, human and drug trafficking.
President Kenyatta and Prime Minister Desalegn also supported proposals to inaugurate a Cooperative Framework Agreement that would establish a Joint Lake Turkana, Omo and Daua Rivers Basins Commission to manage their resources to international standards.