Ethiopian, Djibouti leaders due in Kenya for state visits

NAIROBI, May 6 (Xinhua) — New Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali and Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh are expected in the country for state visits, Kenya’s presidency announced on Sunday.

State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu told journalists in Nairobi that Abiy will arrive in the country later on Sunday for a two-day state visit to bolster already strong relations between Kenya and Ethiopia.

“Some matters of particular interest to us are boosting economic partnerships, and boosting participation in trade and investment by our private sector,” Esipisu said.

“Therefore, the leaders are likely to review how the implementation of the Special Partnership Agreement is progressing, and possibly agree on how to accelerate that,” he added.

Esipisu pointed out that Kenya and Ethiopia are key partners in security and peace in the region, and have both committed time and resources in fighting against terrorism, bringing Somalia to sustainable peace, and finding a lasting solution to the challenges in South Sudan.

He said Abiy’s host, President Uhuru Kenyatta is expected to formally receive Prime Minister Abiy at State House on Monday where bilateral and regional issues will dominate their discussions.

Meanwhile, Esipisu said Djibouti President Guelleh will arrive in Nairobi on May 9 for a two-day state visit.

He said the focus areas of discussion between presidents Kenyatta and Guelleh will be cooperation in trade, livestock management, vocational training, promotion and protection of investment and exemption of visa for holders of diplomatic and service passports.

The State House spokesman said additional areas of discussion between the two leaders include partnership in the tourism sector, geothermal energy and expansion of bilateral trade and investment.

“Collaboration in the Air Transport sector by increasing Kenya Airways passenger flights to Djibouti and introduction of cargo flights to increase the volume of trade in Kenya’s assorted agricultural products including coffee and tea, among others, will also feature in the talks,” he said.

Kenya’s exports to Djibouti include petroleum and bituminous products; tea; and soap. Medicines, especially for vet purposes, also remained a common export between the two countries in the last five years.

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