East Africa

Kenyatta, Netanyahu sign security, immigration pacts


President Uhuru Kenyatta and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday held bilateral talks at State House, Nairobi.

After the meeting, the two leaders addressed a press conference during which they stated that they have signed agreements that will boost the relationship between Kenya and Israel.

President Kenyatta said the future of Kenya-Israeli friendship will bring more development and improved security for Kenyans.

He said the 50-year relationship between Kenya and Israel is set to be strengthened after the two countries signed more agreements and agreed to work more closely on security matters.

“The agreements will allow us to build the capacity of our health systems and professionals in the area of emergency preparedness and resources as well as specialised medical services,” said President Kenyatta.

The agreements signed cover the areas of health and immigration that will see the abolition of certain categories of visas.

“These agreements build on 50 years of cooperation and I am confident that with their implementation, and as we find more ways of collaborating, the relationship between Israel and Kenya can only grow,” said President Kenyatta.

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at State House on July 5, 2016. PHOTO | PSCU

On his part, Mr Netanyahu, who is in the country for a three-day state visit, said Israel views Kenya as its best partner in Africa and that the two countries share common opportunities.

Mr Netanyahu said Israel has been supporting Kenya to fight terrorism and has been sharing intelligence information with Kenyan security forces.

The PM said Israel will work with Kenya to gain a foothold in Africa as the continent rises economically.

“There is a rising tide in Africa and a rising tide lifts all ships,” said the Israeli leader.

He also pushed for Kenya to support Israel’s bid to be given an observer status at the African Union.

In his response, President Kenyatta said the world has changed together with the challenges that face humanity.

“The world has changed and the nature of global problems have changed from what they were 30 years ago. I think there is need for Africa to reengage with Israel,” he said.

The President said he also spoke with Mr Netanyahu about the peace process between Israel and Palestine, adding that Kenya was for sustainable solution.

“Kenya is certainly committed to supporting a peace process in whatever way she can and we continue to see Israel as a critical partner, friend and ally, which is the more reason we desire peace in that region of the world,” said President Kenyatta.

The two leaders also flagged off a new group of students who are headed to Israel to learn irrigation and automated agriculture technologies.

Daily Nation.

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