, BEIJING, Mar 11 – China on Monday offered Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s new leader who has been indicted on charges of crimes against humanity, its congratulations after he was elected president.
“China congratulates Mr Kenyatta on being elected president of Kenya,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters. “We also congratulate Kenya on holding the election peacefully and successfully.”
Kenyatta is the first person facing trial at the International Criminal Court to have won a presidential election.
He has been charged over widespread violence that followed the last polls in 2007, but scraped to a first round win over his main rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who said he would challenge the results in court.
Kenya does not have the major reserves of natural resources that often attract Chinese interest in Africa, but Hua said: “We would like to strengthen cooperation with the new government of Kenya and bring bilateral friendly relations to a higher level.”
“China attaches great importance to its relations with Kenya and regards Kenya as an important cooperation partner in Africa,” she added at a regular briefing.