17 March 2017

Kenya Seeks Return of UK Visa Office to Nairobi From Pretoria

Nairobi — The government is seeking to have the United Kingdom visa office re-established in Nairobi to ease the process of the acquisition of travel documents by Kenyans.

In a joint press conference with her UK counterpart Boris Johnson, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Ambassador Amina Mohamed said consultations were ongoing to see a regional visa office established in Nairobi in the near future.

"We discussed existing visa regulations and I requested the Foreign Secretary and the British Government to accept re-establishing the visa processing office in Nairobi to become the regional office, and ease the enormous difficulty our citizens face in obtaining visas," CS Mohamed said Friday.

She also highlighted Kenya's place in the tourism industry in the region saying she was hopeful that more UK citizens will visit the country.

"We are confident that the visit of the Foreign Secretary will encourage British citizens to visit Kenya in even greater multitude as tourists," CS Mohamed said will making a case for the country's tourism sector.

Johnson agreed with the CS on the need to have more UK citizens visit Kenya, adding that more will be done to boast tourism through strategic partnerships.

"We need to see even more UK tourists coming to see this absolutely incredible country," he said.

The two diplomats also discussed cooperation and capacity building in the education sector with the CS commending the UK Government for awarding scholarships to Kenyans.

Johnson also committed to having the repatriation of Somali refugees discussed during a Summit on Somali Refugees to be held on March 25, as Kenya continues to argue its case for the closure of the Dadaab Refugee Camp.

He further emphasised the UK's commitment to stability in the region including the resolution of the crisis in South Sudan pitting President Salva Kiir against his former Vice President Riek Machar.

Also agreed upon is a commitment by both governments to address climate change by implementing proposals outlined in the Paris Agreement on climate change which entered into force on October 5, 2016.

"We appreciate the support UK has been giving Kenya for climate change programmes that help build resilience and urge for continued and enhanced support from the UK's International Climate Fund (ICF)," CS Mohamed told the press.

The UK Foreign Secretary commended efforts made by the government to tackle banditry attacks in parts of Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Pokot and Laikipia counties, saying the UK will support Kenya in dealing with insecurity.

"I value the announcement made today with regards to the strong measures the government is taking to deal disturbances that threaten farmers in some regions in the country including British national," he said.


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