, LONDON, United Kingdom, May 7 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday met and held bilateral talks with the British Prime Minister David Cameron.
During the meeting that took place at Lancaster House before the commencement of the London Somalia Conference, the British Prime Minister hailed the strong historical ties that Kenya and the United Kingdom have continued to enjoy.
The Prime Minister said the relations between the two countries have been mutually beneficial and underlined the commitment of the British Government to strengthen the relations yet further.
Saying there is room for further improvements in all areas of development co-operation, Cameron said the UK was particularly keen on enhancing the levels of trade and investment between the two countries.
The Prime Minister commended Kenya for the frontline role the country has continued to play in the East and Horn of Africa region noting that Kenya’s involvement in Somalia and the Sudan has contributed to peace and stability in these countries.
Cameron further reaffirmed the commitment of the British Government to continue partnering with Kenya, other IGAD countries and the international community in general, in the search for stability and durable peace in Somalia.
The Prime Minister further underscored the need for the international community to strengthen its engagement in Somalia so as to consolidate the gains that have already been made.
On his part, President Kenyatta applauded the fraternal relations between the two countries saying his Government appreciates the assistance that the United Kingdom has continued to extend to Kenya.
The president said the assistance which targeted critical areas such as education, health as well as humanitarian and social protection has improved the lives of many Kenyans particularly in the rural areas.
“I am convinced that we can expand the scope of our bilateral cooperation and traditional friendship based on mutual trust and respect for the benefit of our two countries.”
The president further said that the Kenyan economy is on a strong growth trajectory and invited the British business community to take advantage of the various investment opportunities available in the country.
“The country is indeed on the path for high economic growth and is emerging as the regional economic, trading and investment hub. The potential for increasing the level of investments, diversification as well as enhancing the volume and value of bilateral trade remains high.”
The president, at the same time, expressed his gratitude to the British Prime Minister for his government’s efforts in collaborating with IGAD member states towards stabilization of Somalia.
The president thanked Cameron for the timely decision to convene the London Conference on Somalia, saying the Conference was a follow up on the last Conference held last year and offers a unique opportunity for initiating new partnerships between Somalia and the international community.
Noting that a lot of progress has been made towards stabilization in Somalia, President Kenyatta underscored the need for all Somalis, both at home and outside Somalia, to be engaged in the reconstruction of their country with the assistance of the international community.
The President said his government will consult the Somalia Government and the UNHCR in order to develop modalities for the safe and orderly return of Somali refugees to enable them participate in the reconstruction of their country.