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Kibaki: Why we need ICC cases deferred

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 18 – President Mwai Kibaki has affirmed that the government\’s engagement with the international community over deferral of cases involving six Kenyans is aimed at entrenching peace and security in the country.

President Kibaki made the remarks during discussions with the visiting Vice Premier of the People\’s Republic of China, Wang Qishan at State House, Nairobi.

The Head of State told the Vice Premier that the one year deferral would accord the government ample time to establish a credible local judicial system to try the suspects behind the post-election violence.

The President expressed appreciation to the government of China for supporting Kenya\’s position in the handling of the challenges that faced the country following the 2008 post-election violence.

The Vice Premier noted that China supported home grown solutions that would help Kenya overcome any challenges it faced including the ICC process.

He pledged his country\’s support for the initiatives Kenya is taking to deal with its domestic issues as a sovereign nation.

Terming China as a dependable development partner, President Kibaki acknowledged that the two nations have had a fruitful cooperation between them on matters of international concern, citing piracy and terrorism among others.

"Over the years, Kenya has benefited substantially from the financial and technical support extended by your government, making China one of the leading bilateral donors to Kenya today. This assistance has had considerable impact on Kenya\’s social economic development," said the President.

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Saying the relation between Kenya and China continues to flourish in many sectors including agriculture, education, trade and tourism, President Kibaki reaffirmed the government\’s commitment to also continue cooperating in areas of peace and security.

Recalling his visit to China last year during which he held fruitful discussion with the country\’s President Hu Jintao, the Head of State said Kenya and China undertook to maintain high level visits contacts to expand and strengthen the bilateral relations.

President Kibaki was among few Heads of State and government invited by China to grace the opening of Shanghai World Expo 2010.

China\’s financial and technical assistance to Kenya within the years, which runs into billions of shillings, has made significant impact to the country\’s social-economic development, said the President.

Among the ongoing projects financed by the government of China through concessionary loans and preferential buyers credits and at various stages of implementation include expansion of Nairobi- Thika Highway, construction of Nairobi Eastern and Northern by-passes and Kenya power distribution modernisation strengthening projects.

"This cooperation has similarly been advanced through the Forum for China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) which is anchored on the FOCAC action plan 2010-2010. The plan was adopted during a Ministerial Conference held in Egypt in November last year," The President added.

Reiterating Kenya\’s support for a one China Policy, President Kibaki, at the same time, supported efforts by the international community for tackling climate change and other associated problems in realization of a green economy.

Besides bilateral talks the President and the China\’s Vice Premier discussed various regional and international issues of common interest including the security situation in the Great Lakes region, the horn of Africa and the Africa continent.

The Head of State stressed that the piracy problem in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Eden can only be solved through enhanced participation of all UN member states.

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Appreciating China\’s determination and continued support to full implementation of the Sudan CPA, President Kibaki expressed the government commitment to regional peace and stability especially in the great lakes region and the horn of Africa.

Following the outcome of the recent referendum in the Southern Sudan, the Head of State said, Kenya looked forward to continue working closely with China to ensure establishment of two friendly and viable sovereign states in the Sudan living peacefully side by side.

Later at State House Nairobi, President Kibaki and the Chinese Vice Premier witnessed the signing of 10 agreements on trade, investment, economic and technical cooperation, free-interest loans, bilateral training for Kenya government officials as well as provision of concessional loans.

The deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Trade Minister Chirau Ali Mwakwere signed on behalf of Kenya while the Vice Minister for Commerce Fu Ziying signed on behalf of China.

The visit by the China\’s Vice Premier responsible for economic and financial affairs, which is his first in Kenya and Africa, is aimed at further strengthening the good political relations existing between the two countries.

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