President William Ruto on Thursday received the highest honour in the Comoros Islands.
The President, who attended the 48th anniversary of the independence of the Union of the Comoros, was awarded the Grand Cross of the Green Crescent of the Comoros.
Speaking during the celebrations of the Union of the Comoros, the Head of State stressed that the two countries share strong historical, cultural and commercial ties.
"Our two countries have maintained strong diplomatic relations and promoted mutual understanding and cooperation in various fields. We must continue to build on this commitment to freedom and promote the free movement of people between our countries," said Ruto.
"In this regard, I give you a commitment that Kenya will abolish the visa requirement for all persons holding valid travel documents issued by the Union of the Comoros to Kenya before the end of 2023."
To further strengthen ties between the two countries in the education sector, he said they were working closely to allow Comorian students to pursue higher education in Kenya and pay the same fees as local students.
President Ruto also announced the establishment of a Joint Commission on Cooperation, which aims to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in areas such as education, health, agriculture and security.
"This agreement paves the way for the establishment of a Joint Commission on Cooperation to facilitate more robust and sustainable cooperation between us. We have also decided to hold the inaugural meeting of the JCC before the end of the year," said the President.
He also expressed his support for Comoros' leadership in the African Union and its commendable efforts in preserving cultural heritage and promoting sustainable tourism.
The Head of State stressed the urgent need to address common challenges, in particular climate change, through African-led solutions.
He also called on African states to empower the Pan-African Parliament to manage the continent's key affairs.
"It is on these common challenges that we must hold hands and lead our people to find consensual and lasting solutions. Now more than ever, we must embrace African solutions to African problems," he added.
He congratulated President Azali Assoumani for graciously accepting the immense responsibility and momentous mandate of the AU Chairmanship in 2023.
"You have made the Comoros the first island nation to assume the leadership of our continental body, and this is a highly exemplary achievement that will inspire confidence in all the people of Africa, whether they come from small or large countries. I take this opportunity to reiterate Kenya's commitment to support you and the Union of the Comoros as you lead the African continent to greater heights and address the daily challenges faced by its people," he said.
The two leaders underlined the need to continue consultations to build partnerships in multilateral fora to ensure that the Africa Agenda 2063 is prioritised and effectively implemented.
Comoros agreed to begin the process of joining the East African Community following discussions between President Ruto and the island's leaders.
It also reciprocated Kenya’s decision to abolish visas for Comoros citizens traveling to Kenya. Kenyans will also henceforth travel to Comoros visa free.
The island nation agreed to begin the process of joining the East African Community following talks between President Ruto and the island's top leadership.
President Ruto was accompanied by Hon. Salim Mvurya, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Mining, Blue Economy and Maritime Affairs and other senior government officials.