Nairobi — The Speaker of the National Assembly Justin Muturi has stated that Kenya's foreign policy does not support unilateral declarations of independence.
Speaking when he received his counterpart from the Parliament of Serbia, Maya Gojkovic who is in the country on a visit at his invitation, Speaker Muturi noted that Kenya is a strong proponent of adherence of international law and respects international mechanisms on dispute resolution under the auspices of the United Nations.
A unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) is a formal process leading to the establishment of a new State by a subnational entity which declares itself independent and sovereign without a formal agreement with the national state from which it is seceding.
"As a country, because of our belief in the adherence to UN policies, we cannot recognise regions that have unilaterally declared self-independence," he declared.
He was referring to the self-declaration of Kosovo, a region in Serbia that has declared independence, but is yet to acquire international recognition by the larger international community.
"In regards to the situation in Kosovo, we are aware of the various instruments available at the international level such as Resolution 1244 of the United Nations Security Council. We hope that the discussions taking place in Brussels will bear fruit," Muturi explained.
He added that the fact that the ascension of Kosovo to the membership of UNESCO should not be construed to be its universal recognition.
On her part, the Serbian Speaker, noted that this is a historic visit, especially because not only is it the first parliamentary visit is in the history of the two countries' relations, but also because it is the first general visit in decades.
Gojkovi? pointed out that the two nations not only have historical relations, but they have also formulated friendships.
She thanked Kenya for not making decisions in international forums contrary to the interests of Serbia.
Gojkovic particularly thanked Kenya for her firm stance of not recognizing the unilaterally declared independence of Kosovo and Metohija and respecting the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Serbia.
Speaker Gojkovic had briefed Muturi on the situation in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as the unilateral acts of Pristina, all allied to the formation of Kosovo, and the introduction of a 100 per cent tax on goods from central Serbia.
The two Speakers also signed a memorandum of understanding on the sidelines of their bilateral talks, in a bid to institutionalize the cooperation of the two legislatures.
"This is a positive prerequisite for strengthening co-operation between our Parliamentary committees, including Foreign Affairs, Defence, Agriculture, Education, Health, Culture, Friendship groups, and exchange of experience in legislative processes and the supervisory role of parliaments," Speaker Gojkovi? noted as the two House Speakers agreed to encourage their MPs and governments to work towards the improvement of their cooperation in all fields.
Speaker Gojkovic has also invited Speaker Muturi for a reciprocal visit and to also attend the 141st Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in October 2019, which Belgrade is hosting.
Speaker Gojkovic is the first high level government representative from the Republic of Serbia to visit Kenya since the two countries established relations 56 years ago.