Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg seek to deepen bilateral ties with Kenya

From left) Jeroen Crooneman, vice minister, director-general for bilateral affairs at Belgium, Wopke Hoekstra(C) vice prime minister of foreign affairs of the Netherlands and Jean Asselborn (Right)minister for foreign and European affairs of Luxembourg, address press on June 7, 2023, at Netherlands Residences in Muthaiga, Nairobi. [Edward Kiplimo,Standard]

Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg are looking to deepen more bilateral ties with Kenya in areas of trade and investment.

Foreign ministers from the three countries made the announcement after meeting President William Ruto on Wednesday.

Wopke Hoekstra from the Netherlands, Jeroen Cooreman (Belgium) and Jean Asselborn (Luxembourg) said their ties will be strengthened through trade.

The three have been on a trip to Africa starting with Ghana before landing in Kenya where they held talks with Dr Ruto.

Hoekstra, Cooreman and Asselborn lauded Kenya over its stand on the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war saying the war affects entire Europe the same conflicts in Somalia and Sudan are shaking the Horn of Africa.

Kenya is against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The visit by the ministers comes a few days after Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov made a trip to Kenya.

‘‘We can only commend Kenya on its clear stand they have taken from the very start in articulating what is right and wrong and the visit by Lavrov was a show that Kenya is part of dialogue and conversation with Russia, which is part of diplomacy,’’ said Hoekstra.

He said the Netherlands remains optimistic about increasing trade considering the fact that KLM flies every day to Amsterdam. ‘‘We have room to expand in agriculture through horticulture and in tech and innovation,’’ noted Hoekstra.

The visitors at the same time commended Kenya for its efforts in ensuring regional peace and stability in the region.

‘‘We are very grateful for what Kenya is doing to ensure regional stability in Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC), Somalia and in Ethiopia,’’ said Cooreman.

On his part, Asselborn said despite their country not having a historical relationship with Kenya, trade between the two countries has started, and more is expected.

‘‘We have a company that last year imported 18,000 tons of flowers from Kenya to Amsterdam in the Netherlands and then to Luxembourg and we have another company dealing in satellite services,’’ stated Asselborn.