Tanzania, Suriname Back Kenya in Bid for UN Seat

Tanzania and Suriname have pledged their support for Kenya's bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council during the election scheduled for June next year.

The assurances were delivered to President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi by Tanzania's Foreign Affairs Minister Palamagamba Kabudi and the President of Suriname Desire Delano Bouterse.

Mr Kabudi who paid President Kenyatta a courtesy visit as a special envoy of President John Pombe Magufuli, said Tanzania has full confidence in the ability of Kenya to represent the African continent in the Security Council.

"We have confidence in Kenya, that you will champion the African voice and will strongly advocate the continent's position in the UN body," said Mr Kabudi.

On the maritime border dispute with Somalia, the special envoy said Tanzania supports Kenya's stand on the need to pursue the option of an out of court settlement.

President Bouterse, who is in the country on a private visit, also assured President Kenyatta of his country's support for Kenya's UNSC bid.

Presidents Kenyatta and Bouterse identified environmental conservation, blue economy and the Big 4 Agenda priority sectors of health, manufacturing, food security and housing as areas of mutual interest between Kenya and the South American nation.

"Mr President, I am glad our foreign affairs have initiated conversations that I believe will go a long way in strengthening our relations in these sectors," the Suriname President said.

President Kenyatta welcomed the Suriname leader to the country and urged him to fully explore Kenya's hospitality saying the visit was a vote of confidence for Kenya as a top tourist destination in the world.

"Our position and belief is that this seat is not for Kenya but for all of us who share the same vision. That we may present a united voice and make a difference," he said.

The two leaders also discussed the importance of the upcoming African Caribbean Pacific conference to be held in Nairobi early next month, saying it will help deepen relations between the Caribbean and the African continent.

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