Visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has criticised the West for oppressing Africa. “There are some nations that act superior to others yet for years all they have done is oppress and exploit the African states, taking away their resources and robbing them of their freedom,” said Mr Ahmadinejad.
“But the African leaders are now awake and aware and taken a firm stand to end the opportunistic approaches from such nations,” he added. He was speaking at Jaffery Sports Club in Mombasa on Wednesday.
President Ahmadinejad called for justice for peace and progress to prevail throughout the world and said lack of such a value was contributing to wars.
Citing Gaza Strip in the Middle East, the Iranian leader said the war in the strip was due to the support Israel received from Western governments to oppress Palestine.
“However, many countries have now taken a new stand and are calling for justice, peace, love and respect as taught by the religions of God,” said the President, noting that a combination of such attributes was what contributed to mutual trust among nations.
Mr Ahmadinejad said friendship between Africa and Asia dated back to more than 1,000 years and the two continents shared cultural and historic values that should be strengthened.
“Today, most of the oppressive governments are headed for destruction and only those countries that are just and fear God will survive.” The President said he was hopeful that deals signed with the Kenyan Government would bring about development and cooperation.
He said he wished good health for all Kenyans and Iranians and called for unity among Muslims and Christians, stressing that both religions spread the same message.
Mr Ahmadinejad later walked down from the dais, shook hands and exchanged hugs with residents who had come to see him. In a show of his down-to-earth character, the President mingled with those who wanted to exchange greetings with him as he walked towards his vehicle but this gave his security detail a hard time.
From the sports club, Mr Ahmadinejad’s motorcade headed to Fort Jesus Museum. The team included the Iranian Foreign minister, Mr Manouchehr Mottaki. The Kenyan team that accompanied the Iranian delegation included Tourism minister Najib Balala, Foreign Affairs minister Moses Wetang’ula, Environment assistant minister Ramadhan Kajembe, Kisauni MP Ali Hassan Joho, Mombasa mayor Ahmed Mohdhar, Coast provincial commissioner Ernest Munyi and Coast provincial police officer King’ori Mwangi.
At Fort Jesus, the group was welcomed by National Heritage and Culture minister William ole Ntimama, who presented Mr Ahmadinejad with a miniature carved dhow as a symbol of coast culture and long history of trade.
Mr Ntimama asked the President to help uplift the Kenyan culture, which he said he would do. President Ahmadinejad addressed a crowd of Mombasa residents from the top of his vehicle before heading to the Mombasa International Airport.