Uhuru Kenyatta meets team from US Senate and Congress

President Uhuru Kenyatta (right) leaves with New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand and her Delaware counterpart Christopher Coons after holding talks at State House, Nairobi, on April 10, 2015. PHOTO | PSCU |

What you need to know:

  • President Kenyatta briefed the US lawmakers on the war against terror, the role of the KDF in Somalia within the context of the AU mission (Amisom) and strategies in dealing with radicalisation.

  • The President also briefed the delegation on efforts to deal with and stop terror financing.

  • Also on the agenda was the need for training and equipping of Kenyan security agencies in the war against terror, an area where the United States is keen to support Kenya.

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Friday met and held talks with a delegation of the US Senate and the Congress.

The delegation, headed by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (New York), met the President at State House, Nairobi, where they discussed the war against terror, regional security, trade and business investment.

The five-member team from Capitol Hill is on a three-day visit to understand Kenya’s security situation, the war against terror, Kenya’s role in ensuring regional security, as well as to discuss matters of mutual interest, focusing on the long-standing bilateral relations.

WAR ON TERROR

President Kenyatta briefed the US lawmakers on the war against terror, the role of the Kenya Defence Forces in Somalia within the context of the AU mission (Amisom) and strategies in dealing with radicalisation.

“This is a global war that requires a global approach. We are working very closely with our partners, including the United States, in tackling terrorism in the region and beyond,” President Kenyatta said.

The President also briefed the delegation on efforts to deal with and stop terror financing.

Also on the agenda was the need for training and equipping of Kenyan security agencies in the war against terror, an area where the United States is keen to support Kenya.

OBAMA VISIT

Senator Gillibrand said the delegation, which leaves the country tomorrow, looks forward to the official visit of President Barack Obama to Kenya in July.

President Obama will hold bilateral talks with President Kenyatta as well as attend the Global Entrepreneurship Summit being held in sub-Saharan Africa for the first time.

Senator Gillibrand said the visit would deepen the traditional relations between Kenya and the US.

“We want to understand what you would like us to do to help Kenya deal with the emerging challenges, including fighting terrorism,” she said.

“The US Government is very appreciative of Kenya’s efforts, including its role in Somalia,” she added.

MINISTERS PRESENT

Other US legislators who attended the meeting were Senator Christopher Coons (Delaware), Senator Tammy Baldwin (Wisconsin), Senator Gary Peters (Michigan); Representative Susan Davis (California) and Representative Kathleen Rice (New York).

US Ambassador to Kenya Robert F Godec also attended the event.

Cabinet secretaries Joseph Nkaissery (Interior), Ambassador Amina Mohamed (Foreign Affairs), Ambassador Raychelle Omamo (Defence), Chief of Defence Forces General Julius Karangi and Chief of Staff Joseph Kinyua also attended the meeting.

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