Parliamentary diplomacy, counter terrorism intelligence and the Big Four Agenda dominated talks as the Speaker of the Senate, Rt Hon Kenneth made his first official visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
The Senate Speaker who is on a two-day official visit in the Kingdom, on invitation by the President of the Jordanian Senate while meeting HE Dr. Marouf Bakhit, the Ag President of the Jordanian Senate condemned the terrorist attack that occurred, late Saturday in Salt City, some 30 km west of the capital Amman.
“On behalf of the Senate and indeed on behalf of the Kenyan people, I convey our deepest condolences to the Hashemite Kingdom and the families of the four officers who in the face of the despicable terrorist attack, have paid the ultimate price,” said Lusaka.
Lusaka who led a delegation of five Senators also delivered HE President Uhuru Kenyatta’s message of goodwill to the Jordanian people and his administration’s commitment to the Aqaba Process.
The Aqaba Process brings together regional and international partners, including The Netherlands, in coordinating and intensifies efforts related to the anti-terror fight.
Kenya and Jordan are similar in great regard, having pursued terrorists beyond their borders. The Jordanian Military Intervention in the Syrian Civil War – marked by airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) – started in September 2014 as Kenya checked off its third year of “Operation Linda Nchi” to eradicate the Al-Shabab menace in the southern parts of Somalia.
At the meeting Speaker Lusaka underscored with great precision the country’s Big Four Developmental Agenda where he singled out the Universal Health Care as an area of potential partnership with Jordan.
In a swift rejoinder Dr Bakhit, who is also a former Prime Minister of the Hashemite Kingdom, proposed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries which will underscore areas of cooperation.
“Jordan ranks number one in Medical Tourism in the Middle East and fifth globally. We would be keen to discuss terms of a Memorandum of Understanding with your Government to contribute toward realization of the Health aspect the Kenyan President’s Big Four Agenda,” said Dr Bakhit.
The meeting between Speaker Lusaka with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, HE Eng Atef Tarawneh, agreed to advance their parliamentary diplomacy such that it is in tandem with the relations enjoyed by respective countries’ Executive, led by their Heads of State.
“The Senate of Kenya under my leadership has three goals in mind the matter of parliamentary diplomacy to promote democratic values and Kenya’s interests abroad; to exchange ideas and best practices with fellow parliamentarians; and to help guide collective policy and action,” noted Lusaka.
The Senate delegation comprises Sen. Mohammed Yusuf Haji, Sen. Njeru Ndwiga, Sen. Boniface Kabaka, Sen. Naomi Jillo Waqo and Sen. Mercy Chebeni.