17 June 2019

Kenya: Kiir Set for State Visit to Kenya, MFA Says Trade Top On Agenda

Photo: The Rwandan Focus
South Sudan leader Salva Kiir Mayardit.

Nairobi — South Sudan President Salva Kiir is scheduled to make a State Visit to Kenya where he is expected to hold talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta on trade cooperation and investment.

Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma announced the planned visit on Monday, after meeting with her South Sudan Counterpart Nhial Deng Nhial.

"We have tasked our teams to begin negotiations on various areas including the area of economic cooperation and investment, the area of political cooperation and also the areas relating to our migration and citizenship issues ahead of President Kiir's State Visit," said Juma.

South Sudan's Foreign Affairs Minister said the meeting between the two heads of state is key to fostering better diplomatic and trade relations between the two countries.

"Our meeting was very productive and we look forward to having a mutually beneficial relationship that does not undermine the other's sovereignty or security of the citizens," he said.

The two diplomats did not reveal the substantive date for the visit saying teams from respective countries were working on issues to be covered during the official visit, which will be Kiir's first State Visit to Kenya.

President Kiir's visit comes barely a month after he attended an annual national prayer breakfast where President Kenyatta committed to assist South Sudan attain stability.

President Kenyatta however asked the Sudan leadership to show more willingness and selflessness in resolving issues that are denying their people the opportunity of enjoying peace.

Kenya has major interests in Juba having helped broker a 2005 peace agreement between the country and her northern neighbor, Sudan, leading to the independence of South Sudan in 2011.

Hundreds of Kenyan firms including banks and insurers have set camp in South Sudan, attracted by the country's economic prospects in the oil industry.

Some of the firms include, Kenya Airways, UAP holdings, KCB, Equity, Cooperative Bank and East African Breweries Limited.

However despite the oil wealth, the government is still fighting rebels who have dimmed its short-term economic outlook.

During his recent visit, President Kiir said South Sudan leaders are busy fighting for power while innocent citizens continue to suffer.

Kiir however said that he looks forward to a future where South Sudan will become prosperous and play a bigger role in the affairs and unity of Eastern Africa.

Diplomatic relations between the two eastern African countries have also been improving.

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