CAIRO, Egypt, Jan 28 – Kenya and Egypt have resolved to enhance economic and Political collaboration even as they agreed to champion the African Free Trade Area regime in the continent.
Speaking when he met the Prime Minister of Egypt, Mostafa Madbouly and his counterpart from the Egyptian House of Representatives, Ali Abdel Aal, Speaker Muturi noted that Egypt has been Kenya’s strategic ally both in the North African Region and in the continent since the pre- independence period.
“Egypt was the second nation after the United Kingdom that Kenya established diplomatic relations with. That highlights the strategic importance that we accord our relationship,” Muturi observed.
During his meeting with the Prime Minister at the Cabinet office the two also stressed the need for a sustainable use of the Nile River water resources. The Nile River water basin covers 11 countries including Kenya and Egypt.
Making his remarks after Speaker Muturi, he expresssed gratitude on behalf of the government of Kenya following efforts by the President of Egypt Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to mediate in the Kenya- Somalia maritime dispute, Madbouly noted that Egypt was keen to promote peace and security within the African continent.
” It is our desire to see that every African country relates harmoniously with her neighbours, thus our call for continued negotiations towards an amicable solution on this dispute”, he noted.
The International Court of Justice has since adjourned the case to allow room for negotiations before making a ruling in June, 2020.
With regard to trade, the Prime Minister expressed Egypt’s desire to enhance trade between Nairobi and Cairo with Speaker Muturi calling for more direct investment from Egypt especially in areas of agriculture, water use and conservation health and manufacturing which Egypt has achieved great speciality in and which coincidentally form part of Kenya’s Big Four Agenda for development.
Speaking later when he held talks with his Speaker Aal, Muturi called on Egypt to join Kenya in her ” Visa on arrival policy” for residents of the African continent, in an effort to promote the implementation the Africa Continental Free Trade Area established by 54 out of the 55 African Union nations.
While underscoring the place of Parliamentary diplomacy in enhancing diplomatic ties, the two Speakers agreed to institute legislative interventions even as the two countries seek collaboration in new areas. To this end, and following a resolution reached out during Speaker Aal visit to Naitobi in July, 2019, the two legislatures will promote exchanges between their Parliamentary Committees and their respective Parliamentary Friendship Groups.
Their talks also centred on Kenya’s candidature to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)where Kenya is seeking a non-permanent seat for the period 2021-2022.
In this regard Speaker Aal assured Kenya of Egypt’s support, quickly adding that Kenya would be a great Representative for the continent at the UNSC. Kenya and Egypt have been at the forefront of advocating for the UN reform agenda and is a signatory to the Common African Position on UN reforms as contained in the Ezulwini Consensus.Incidentally, it during President Fatal el-Sisi’s helm at the African Union Chairmanship that the Union endorsed Kenya as her representative in the all-important UN Organ.
Egypt is also seeking Kenya’s support towards her candidature at the African Union Peace and Security Council.
Speaker Muturi who is a 4-day reciprocal visit to Egypt on the invitation of Speaker Aal, also held talks with the Minister of Agriculture, Elsayed Elkosayar and the Deputy Foreign Minister for African Affairs, Ambassador Hamdi Loza.
He is accompanied by the Members of the Speaker’s panel comprising of the Deputy Speaker, Moses Cheboi, Soipan Tuya, Jessica Mbalu, Chris Omulele, Patrick Mariru and the Clerk of the National Assembly Michael Sialai.