Prime Minister Hailemariam arrived in Kenya on a two-day offcial visit on Wednesday (November 21st). The Prime Minister and his delegation were met at Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by President Mwai Kibaki and other senior officials from both the two governments. The two leaders met for bilateral talks at State House on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Hailemariam recalled that the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi had a longstanding vision for a single integrated economic community in the region. He assured President Kibaki that the new generation of Ethiopian leadership will uphold this vision and strive to attain the goals shared by the leadership of both countries. He stressed that Ethiopia and Kenya enjoyed a long standing historical relationship at the level of people-to-people as well as government-to-government. This was based on mutual trust and confidence.
The way the two countries cooperated at both bilateral and regional levels in both political and security areas was commendable said the Prime Minister. He emphasized this cooperation should be further extended to provide a more practical impact for the citizens of both nations. He cited the just signed Special Status Agreement as an example to serve as a legal foundation for future economic and social integration. This was in addition to agreements already signed covering the infrastructural sector as well as agreements on power purchase, the Lamu-South Sudan- Ethiopia Transport Corridor (LAPSSET), the planned railway network between Lamu and Addis Ababa and the fiber optics network connection.
Standing alongside President Mwai Kibaki, the Prime Minister said that "Kenya and Ethiopia can lead the IGAD region, joining hands so that we can secure peace and stability in this sub-region which all of you know is a troublesome area." Prime Minister Hailemariam added: "We see the light at the end of the tunnel where Somalia is now being stabilized by the joint effort of Ethiopia and Kenya along with our brothers from the region."