Kenya and US sign Bilateral Strategic Agreements to strengthen relations

May 10, 2019 9:10 am
CSs Juma and Matiangi meets Assistant Secretary of State Tibor Nagy, during a luncheon hosted for the Kenyan Delegation at the State Department Headquarters.

, WASHINGTON DC, USA May 9 – Kenya’s top officials wrapped their four-day official visit to the United States on a high note Thursday after the conclusion of the inaugural Bilateral Strategic Dialogue (BSD) framework.

The Kenyan delegation in the US was led by Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma who travelled alongside her Interior counterpart Fred Matiangi and officials from their ministries as well as that of Defence.

On Thursday, they participated in the BSD discussions that centered on four pillars and concluded with detailed work plans that will guide implementation of agreed actions.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry said two significant documents were signed – first the BSD framework document and the Joint Country and Action Plan.

While in Washington DC, the two CSs held discussions with various officials on matters related to their docket as follow ups to the state visit by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2018 in which he was hosted by President Donald Trump and agreed t strengthen relations between the two countries.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry said CS Juma held a series of meetings with the leadership across the US administration- at the Pentagon State Department, Department of Commerce, the US chamber of Commerce, and the White House.

“The CS also engaged with the Constituency For Africa, a group of African American Small and Medium Enterprises captains and addressed policy makers and analysis at the Centre for International Strategic Studies (CSIS),” the ministry said.

The Bilateral Strategic Dialogue seeks to grow trade and investment ties, enhance security and defence cooperation, promote good governance and multilateral cooperation between Kenya and the United States of America.

On Thursday, CS Juma, accompanied by CS Matiangi met with Amb. John Bolton, the National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump.

Their discussions centered on closer collaboration in counter-terrorism in the Horn of Africa and expanding economic ties.

In her remarks, CS Juma noted that while both governments are focused on improving trade between them, the present “threat of international jihadism” from Somali militants Al-Shabaab and other groups, demands a focused effort to secure trade and investment.

“This threat is the greatest risk to our strategic aspirations because even if we think big, even if we create the right environment for investments and trade, unless we are able to tether the threat that comes with extremism, then we are at a risk,” she said.

And at the end of the meeting, Bolton tweeted, “Great meeting with Kenyan Cabinet Secretary Juma. Building on the successful U.S.-Kenya Strategic Dialogue, we discussed ways to further deepen the already strong partnership on trade and investment, counter-terrorism, and regional stability.”

While in Washington CS Juma also met with John Sullivan, Deputy Secretary of State, David Trachtenberg, Deputy Undersecretary for Policy, Department of Defence, Amb. Tibor Nagy, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Department of Commerce team led by Sarah Kemp.

“I depart DC satisfied that we have prosecuted the agenda as directed by President Uhuru Kenyatta and President Donald Trump, and this for the benefit of the people of Kenya and the US,” said CS Juma.

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