, BUJUMBURA, Burundi, Jul 3 – President Mwai Kibaki who is in Burundi for a State visit has called for greater cooperation between Kenya and Burundi.
Speaking in Bujumbura Tuesday where he held bilateral talks with his host, President Pierre Nkurunziza, President Kibaki applauded the warm relations between the two countries and welcomed the signing of four memoranda of understanding that will provide for cooperation in the areas of tourism, information and communication technology, public service and police matters.
President Kibaki said Kenya and Burundi will continue to make optimal use of the Joint Commission for Cooperation established in 2008.
During the talks, President Kibaki said Kenya will extend bilateral and technical support to Burundi in a number of sectors including defence, education, health, roads, diplomacy, agriculture and livestock.
The President expressed gratitude for the offer of a piece of land by the Burundi Government on which to put up Kenya’s diplomatic premises. In return President Kibaki offered a piece of land for the construction of a cargo warehouse in Kenya.
Pertaining to regional integration, President Kibaki pledged the commitment of the Kenya Government to continue working closely with the Government of Burundi towards enhancing integration within the East African Community to ensure efficient movement of goods and services.
To this end, President Kibaki underscored the need for EAC Member States to work towards the elimination of all non-tariff barriers in accordance with the EAC Time Bound Programme.
“We should also waive work permit requirements for our citizens in line with the EAC Common Market Protocol in order to facilitate our nationals to access business and employment opportunities in our countries and thereby reap the full benefits of our regional integration,” Kibaki said.
On peace and security, President Kibaki commended Burundi for the instrumental role the country continues to play in the search for sustainable peace and stability in Somalia and the region.
The President expressed optimism that the efforts of regional and international actors will ultimately succeed in stabilising Somalia.
Said Kibaki: “I am confident that our joint efforts through troop contributions, supported by regional and international support will eventually help resolve the long-running crisis in that nation.”
The President was accompanied by Cabinet Ministers Pro. Sam Ongeri, Yusuf Haji, Dalmas Otieno, Moses Wetangula, Dr. Mohamed Kuti, Prof. Margret Kamar and Assistant minister Bifwoli Wakoli among others.