Tanzania and Suriname on Tuesday evening pledged their support for Kenya’s bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN 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,” Mr Kabudi said.
The special envoy, who was accompanied by Tanzania’s ambassador to Kenya Dr Batilda Salha Buriani, acknowledged Kenya’s leading role in the push for a united and progressive Africa.
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.
In a separate meeting, President Bouterse, who is in the country on a private visit, assured President Kenyatta of his country’s support for Kenya’s UNSC bid.
The Suriname leader, who was accompanied by First Lady Ingrid Waldring Bouterse, thanked President Kenyatta for his visionary leadership saying Kenya is an emerging regional economic giant.
Besides Suriname’s support for Kenya’s UNSC bid, the two leaders discussed opportunities for deepening bilateral ties between the two countries through trade, investment and people-to-people exchanges.
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 two ministers (for foreign affairs) have initiated conversations that I believe will go along way in strengthening our relations in these sectors,” the Suriname President told his host.
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.
He thanked President Bouterse for Suriname’s endorsement of Kenya’s UNSC bid saying, “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.”
The two leaders also discussed the importance of the upcoming African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) conference to be held in Nairobi early next month saying the meeting will help deepen relations between the Caribbean and the African continent.
President Kenyatta Tuesday evening also received and held discussions with Hon Awut Deng Acuil, a special envoy of President Salva Kiir of South Sudan, at State House, Nairobi.
Hon Acuil, who is also his country’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, briefed the President on the challenges being faced by his country in the ongoing implementation of the 2018 peace agreement.
The President reassured the special envoy of Kenya’s commitment to continue supporting efforts towards the full implementation of the peace pact.
He urged the South Sudanese leaders to speed up the implementation of the agreement saying the 18 months of ceasefire experienced since the agreement came into being was a sign of a bright future for the country.
Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma and Head of Public Service Joseph Kinyua attended the meetings.