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Climate change and war on terror top agenda of new UK envoy to Kenya Marriott

British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott OBE was interviewed by Capital FM on October 8, 2019/CFM

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 8- Countering the effects of climate change and the war on terrorism forms part of United Kingdom High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott’s top agenda, during her four-year tenure in the country.

Marriott also hopes to enhance Kenya-United Kingdom partnership because they share a “long complicated history …(with) some good stuff, some not good stuff.”

“Where we are starting from now is a country of two equal partner and I really hope to see how we can make the world a better place together,” she said Tuesday during an interview in Capital in the Morning hosted by Amina and Fareed.

On terrorism, the UK’s focus will be dealing with Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab terror group.

Kenya has been a victim of Al Shabaab’s terror activities and although largely weakened, the terror group still manages to launch pockets of small- and large-scale attacks in the country.

This, she said, “is a global issue.”

The United Kingdom is a key security partner for Kenya and often, they undertake joint training sessions with the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).

There is existing Defence cooperation between the two countries that sees 6 British infantry battalions- about 10,000 service personnel- train in the country with a military base in Nanyuki, Laikipia County.

On Brexit, Marriott said “Our connections are deep. Brexit provides an opportunity to make it even stronger. Trade is crucial…we will negotiate a new trade framework together that will be good for both countries.”

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In August 2018, former UK Prime Minister Theresa May visited the country during a tour of three African states. In Kenya, it was a first visit by a British Prime Minister in 38 years.

Prior to taking up her current position, Marriott was the Director of UK’s Joint International Counter-Terrorism Unit, which is responsible for the overall design of the UK’s international counter-terrorism strategies.

The unit brings together expertise from within the Home Office and Foreign Office to tackle international counter-terrorism in a coordinated and effective manner.

She has previously served as joint FCO Director for the Middle East and North Africa and was once an adviser to the US Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke.

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