Kenya, Israel agree to deepen ties

Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu and President Uhuru Kenyatta in Jerusalem.

Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu and President Uhuru Kenyatta in Jerusalem.

The leaders of Kenya and Israel have signed agreements to strengthen bilateral relations between the two nations in areas of terrorism, trade, infrastructure development, mining, and ICT among others.

On his 3-day trip to Israel, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed various deals including on irrigation and agriculture Tuesday in Jerusalem.

Speaking the joint press conference, visiting Kenyan leader Uhuru Kenyatta embarked on his intent to further improve and expand ties between the two friendly states. He also lauded Israel as a “friend of Kenya” whereas Netanyahu thanked his guest for finally honouring a long standing invitation to Israel.

“We in Kenya hold Israel as a dear and very special friend. The war on terrorism is international and we must all join hands to defeat it,” President Kenyatta said adding “There are unlimited opportunities for local and foreign investors. We invite Israelis to invest more in Kenya.”

Kenyatta also made a courtesy call to Israel President President Reuven Rivlin as the two leaders discussed issues ranging from terrorism and trade.

“Israel stands together with you against those who pretend to speak in the name of Islam as they murder men, women and children,” President Rivlin said.

Kenyatta’s state visit to Israel follows that of former president Arap Moi who last visited the Middle Eastern nation 22 years ago.

Besides holding meetings with the President and Prime Minister of the State of Israel, President Kenyatta will attend several meetings on security organized by the Ministry of Defence of Israel.

Kenyan State house spokesman Manoah Esipisu, said Monday Kenyatta expects his visit to cement trade, investment and security bonds between Kenya and Israel.

“The president expects that the cooperation on security matters and sharing of intelligence between the two countries is heightened to meet new and increasing threats,” Esipisu said.

President Kenyatta will also tour Israeli flagship projects, which Kenya can learn from, during his visit to the country.

On Thursday, the President will tour a Kibbutz where he will also meet with a group of Kenyans who are learning arid land farming technologies in Israel.

Still on Thursday, the President will also attend an Economic Forum bringing together the Kenyan business community in Israel.