, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 7 – The new Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali was on Monday morning formally received by President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.
The visiting Prime Minister who arrived in the country on Sunday at the start of a two day state visit, was accorded full military honours that included a 19-gun salute with the Kenya Defence Forces band playing the national anthems of Kenya and Ethiopia.
After the arrival ceremonies, the Ethiopian leader signed the distinguished visitors’ book before holding a tête-à-tête with his host.
The state visit by the Ethiopian Prime Minister is geared towards bolstering the existing strong relations between Kenya and Ethiopia.
Bilateral and regional issues are expected to dominate discussions between the two leaders.
Kenya and Ethiopia have enjoyed strong bilateral relations, deepened further by the Special Status Agreement between the two countries.
The two countries are key partners in security and peace in the region and have both committed time and resources in the fight against terrorism as well as the fight to bring sustainable peace to Somalia and the initiatives to find a lasting solution to the challenges in South Sudan.
“Some matters of particular interest to us are boosting economic partnerships, and boosting participation in trade and investment by our private sector,” said State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu in his weekly media briefing Sunday before the arrival of the Ethiopian leader.
“Therefore, the leaders are likely to review how the implementation of the Special Partnership Agreement is progressing, and possibly agree on how to accelerate that,” Esipisu added.
Deputy President William Ruto, Cabinet Secretaries, Chief of Defence Forces Gen Samson Mwathethe and other senior government officials were also present to receive the Ethiopian Prime Minister.