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Kenya-Canada forge stronger bilateral ties

Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Cabinet Secretary Dr. Alfred Mutua has lauded the bilateral ties between Kenya and Canada that have enabled the two countries prioritize cooperation in three key areas.

Dr. Mutua cited the areas of cooperation including sustainable blue economy, trade and investment, peace and security will help in poverty reduction, sustainable economic growth, empowerment of women, as well as support for refugee programmes in the country.

The CS who was addressing a press conference Tuesday, while in the company of his counterpart from Canada, Melanie Joly at Upper Hill Chambers, Nairobi commended the government of Canada for being a reliable partner on matters of regional peace and security.

Commenting on the conflict in Sudan, Dr. Mutua said that Kenya is ready to host talks on stabilizing Sudan and her future, by availing Kenya’s airspace including airports like Lokichogio, as well as offering technical support for any special operation.

“We are working with Canada to find a lasting solution to the crisis, we have agreed to continue encouraging both sides to have meaningful dialogue, cease hostilities, guarantee humanitarian access to all communities,” said Dr. Mutua.

“It is for this reason that President Dr. William Ruto, together with the presidents of Djibouti and South Sudan have been mandated by the 40th Extraordinary Assembly of the IGAD Heads of State and Government to help push for peace in Sudan,” he stated.

He added that the government is also working with the Canadian friends and other international partners in evacuating foreign nationals from Sudan.

Dr. Mutua announced that the government has already evacuated a total of 409 Kenyans from Sudan, saying that the process is still ongoing for Kenyans who are willing to be brought back home. However, he disclosed that some Kenyans in Khartoum were not willing to leave because they felt safe.

The CS at the same time called upon the Caribbean Community, Canada and the United States to consider providing law enforcement assistance to Haiti state in solving the challenge the country was facing.

Dr. Mutua also thanked the Canadian government for her commitment in providing education and employment opportunities to Kenyans.

“Kenya is also ready to provide skilled and professional workers to make a contribution in Canada,” he said.

Dr. Mutua reaffirmed that President Ruto was duly elected as the country’s president in conformity with our constitutional dispensation, whose decision he said was settled by Kenyans and the Judiciary last year.

“Leaders must learn to respect democratic outcomes as an election has winners and losers. The international community should send a strong and robust message to those who disrupt democracy,” he stressed.

In her remarks, Joly said her government will continue to support Kenya financially to enable the country increase access to food and security.

“Canada is seeking for ways to get Sudan to restore her peace since the conflict was a threat to the development process in East Africa. Our main goal is to get to a ceasefire and obtain peace in that nation as they come up with permanent solutions that will help the country,” she stated.

At the same time, Joly commended President Ruto for the leadership he has portrayed, saying Kenya should count on Canada as a reliable partner on key solutions to ending conflicts.

The Canadian Foreign Minister said Canada will ensure Sudan has access to any humanitarian support needed by her people.

By Enrica Amisi and Peace Muthoka

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