By Standard Team
Visiting US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held talks with President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga focusing on the upcoming elections, trade and investment, peace and security in Somalia and the Sudans.
Clinton asked President Kibaki to remain engaged in regional peace and reconciliation efforts even after he retires.
Clinton said the Horn of Africa and the region could benefit immensely from President Kibaki’s 50 years in public office and 10 years of peace mediation as Head of State. Clinton also appreciated the frontline role Kenya continues to play in stabilising Somalia and the region, pledging US’s support to such initiatives. ?
Clinton agreed that the US will support Kenya’s efforts to upgrade the Unep offices, in the spirit of the Rio+20 Conference at the forthcoming UN Heads of State Summit set for New York in September this?year. ?
President Kibaki, on his part, told the US top diplomat that peace and regional stability was key to economic prosperity, an issue that remained close to his heart.
During the discussions, President Kibaki welcomed America’s new strategy towards Sub-Saharan Africa unveiled by President Barrack Obama in June this year focusing on the continent’s economic potential to open up new avenues for strategic partnership for prosperity.
He expressed gratitude to the Obama administration for extending assistance through the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief programme that has augmented the Government efforts to address the HIV and AIDS pandemic.
And Prime Minister Raila Odinga, who met Clinton separately at his office, thanked the US Congress for extending AGOA deal by another three years, saying the extension has saved thousands of jobs in Kenya.
Raila lauded President Barack Obama’s new Africa strategy and his faith that Africa could be the world’s next big economic success story and its focus on trade and investment on the continent.
Clinton lauded Kenya’s LAPSSET project, stating that it provides huge opportunities for Kenya. She also pledged that the US would review AGOA to see what more can be done to take it to a higher level.