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Uhuru, Farmajo meet pledge to normalise relations

NAIROBI
By Cyrus Ombati and Roselyne Obala | November 15th 2019

Kenya could be on the verge of striking a deal with Somalia over the disputed maritime border, which is presently before the International Court of Justice.

Yesterday, President Uhuru Kenyatta met with his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Farmajo at the sidelines of the just-concluded ICPD25 summit in Nairobi.

The two agreed to normalise bilateral relations starting with the restoration of issuance of travel visas on arrival for citizens of the two nations.

The visas are aimed at enhancing free and unhindered movement of people and commerce between Kenya and Somalia.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma, who was present when the two leaders met, said they discussed the relations between the two countries.

The meeting followed the participation of Farmajo at the ICPD event held at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre.

The meeting took place at a Nairobi hotel and not State House.

Villa Somalia, the principal workplace of the President of Somalia, said President Farmajo “pointed out” (to Uhuru) why it was important that the maritime dispute should not affect relations.

The meeting comes hot on the heels of the September meeting at the sidelines of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, US, which was mediated by the African Union chairman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. However, the impasse persisted.

“They reaffirmed the invaluable relations between Kenya and Somalia as neighbours,” disclosed Dr Juma.

She added: “The two principals agreed to bring normality to our bilateral relations and do everything to ensure peaceful relations.”

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