NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 31 – The closest President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration has come to admitting Kenya’s relations with Tanzania had cooled off since John Magufuli took office as President was when his spokesman, on Sunday, said the hope was that the latter’s first visit to the country would ‘renew and deepen’ the partnership.
Previously, President Keyatta’s administration has maintained that relations between the two countries remain cordial despite Kenyan officials being detained in Tanzania while on a fact fining mission on the best route for the Ugandan oil pipeline to take.
After the pipeline misunderstanding, President Kenyatta himself assured journalists that: “Countries take sometimes decisions that we all don’t fully understand, right, but I don’t think that should be taken away from them; I don’t think that is something that we should take away from them because ultimately I think they will come back together.”
On Sunday, his spokesman Manoah Esipisu outlined other areas of dissonance the Jubilee administration hopes the visit will address including access of Kenyan tour vans to Tanzania’s parks; another misunderstanding that led to a diplomatic spat that resulted in Kenya temporarily locking Tanzanian operated tour vans out of the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
READ: Kenya Airways to resume full schedule to Tanzania
Other subjects on the table, Esipisu told reporters on Sunday, are accessibility to work permits for Kenyans who wish to work in Tanzania, “as well as the high university fees charged to Kenyan nationals,” among other non-tariff barriers.
Tanzania was also accused of being the stumbling block in the regional negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union.