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Chart your own destiny, Kenya and Ethiopia urge Somalis
Posted on Thursday, March 01, 2012 @ 19:21:10 CST by kwpnews

President Mwai Kibaki leads Kenyan Government officials in bilateral talks with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

NAIROBI (KWP) - Kenya and Ethiopia today encouraged Somali leaders to resolve their disputes peacefully to achieve sustainable peace and political stability in their country.

President Mwai Kibaki and Ethiopian Premier Meles Zenawi emphasized that while regional and international leaders have collectively helped to restore peace, order and political stability in Somalia, the destiny of the country rests in the hands of the Somali nationals themselves.

In a joint Communique read by Kenya’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Moses Wetangula after fruitful bilateral talks at State House Nairobi, the two leaders noted with appreciation that the ongoing operations by the Kenya Defence Forces jointly with their Ethiopian and Somali counterparts to diminish the threat posed by Al Shabaab insurgents is paying off.

They welcomed the emerging growing interest of the international community as demonstrated in the recently concluded London Conference on Somalia which emphasized the need to seize the unique opportunity created to usher in an area of peace and stability in that country.

The leaders also welcomed the decision of the United Nations Security Council to expand the logistical package for AMISOM from 12,000 to 17,731 uniformed personnel and to include reimbursement of contingent owned equipment including force enablers and multipliers.

This, the Heads of State noted, would allow deployment to the liberated areas to facilitate establishment of administrative systems by the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia as well as provision of humanitarian support and return of internally displaced persons and refugees to their homes.

Both leaders expressed strong commitment to continue working together on African Union matters with a view to promoting African Unity and integration, as a basis for strengthening the continental body.

On the relations between Kenya and Ethiopia, President Kibaki observed that the two countries continued to make the best use of the Joint Ministerial Commission to facilitate cooperation in many areas covering political, economic and social sectors.

President Kibaki and Ethiopian Premier witnessed the signing of a bilateral agreement on the Development, Operations and Management of a Standard Gauge Railway Network between Lamu Port and Addis Ababa.

Kenya’s Minister for transport Amos Kimunya and his Ethiopian counterpart Mr Deriba Kuma heiy signed the agreement on behalf of their respective countries.

The two leaders expressed confidence that Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) project will unlock trade and investment opportunities between the two countries once realized.

The two Heads of State hailed the excellent historical and fraternal relations that continue to flourish between the two countries observing that the state visit by H.E. Meles Zenawi, being the first one to Kenya, would further facilitate consolidation of the friendly ties.

The leaders directed the two countries relevant agencies to ensure timely implementation of bilateral decisions in order for the envisaged benefits to accrue to the peoples of the two countries.

On border issues, the two leaders called on communities living along the common border to observe the fixed border lines to reduce resource based conflicts.

During the talks, President Kibaki and the visiting Ethiopian Premier emphasized the need for relevant agencies to maintain close contacts and exchange information so as to secure the border areas and facilitate peaceful coexistence and legal trading activities.

The Heads of State recalled that the 33rd Joint Ministerial Commission agreed to establish a technical team of surveyors to carry out inspection of the boundary beacons with a view to restoring those that have been destroyed.

They committed themselves to work closely particularly within the framework of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) to facilitate efficient movement of goods and services between the two countries.

On sharing of resources, the leaders appreciated the importance of working together in initiating appropriate measures to ensure the conservation and exploitation of shared water resources in a manner that promotes sustainable development for the benefit of current and future generations.

In this regard, Kenya proposed a Cooperative Framework Agreement establishing a Joint Lake Turkana and Rivers Omo and Daua Basins Commission to manage the conservation and exploitation of these resources consistent with international conventions.

The Ethiopian Premier assured that his Government would provide feedback after the completion of the on-going study on the two basins.

The talks were attended by Prime Minister Raila Odinga, Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka, several cabinet ministers, Ethiopian Minister for Foreign Affairs Berhehane Gebre-Christos and Ambassadors of the two countries among other senior government officials.

The Ethiopia leader arrived in the country earlier in the day and was received by his host President Kibaki.

The Prime Minister inspected a guard of honour mounted by a detachment of the Kenya Air force before being entertained by troupes of choirs and traditional dancers.

The Premier will tomorrow be joining President Kibaki and South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir for a ground breaking ceremony, to mark the launch of phase one of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport Corridor (LAPSSET).

LAPSSET corridor, a joint investment of the three governments, is expected to significantly increase business opportunities in the tourism, agriculture and manufacturing sectors when complete.

Among the components of the Lapsset project include construction of 32 berths at the Lamu port, a 1,710 kilometre railway line and a 880 kilometre highway linking Lamu to Ethiopia and South Sudan.


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