, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 14 – President Mwai Kibaki on Tuesday held talks with visiting Russian Special Representative to Africa, Mikhail Margelov, who paid him a courtesy call at his Harambee House office.
During the meeting, President Kibaki and Margelov discussed a wide range of issues of mutual interest to Kenya and Russia.
The President briefed the Russian special representative on the progress of Kenya’s military engagement in Somalia under operation “Linda Nchi”.
In this regard, the president and Margelov called on the UN Security Council to fast-track the re-hatting of the Kenya Defence Force into AMISOM as recommended by IGAD and the African Union.
President Kibaki and the Russian special representative agreed on the need to stabilise Somalia and urged the international community to facilitate the repatriation of Somali refugees to sanitized areas within the war-torn Horn of Africa nation.
At the bilateral level, the Head of State invited Russia to consider investing in the Kenyan manufacturing and infrastructure sectors especially the construction of a standard gauge railway line and expansion of the country’s road network.
President Kibaki said Kenya and Russia should also collaborate in the prospecting for oil and boosting other energy sources in the country.
Margelov, who is also the Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Russian Upper House, reassured President Kibaki of his country’s support to Kenya at the international level.
He emphasized that Russia supports the finding of African solutions to the challenges facing Africa.
President Kibaki and Margelov expressed hope that the forthcoming London conference on Somalia will discuss and come up with a lasting solution that will be acceptable to the people of Somalia and the wider Horn of Africa region.
Present at the meeting were Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula, Acting Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet Francis Kimemia and the Director of Europe and Commonwealth division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Amb. Lazarus Amayo.