First visit by Kenyan official in over ten years; Agreement on irrigation and agriculture cooperation signed; Meeting with Netanyahu focused on combatting Islamic terror
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta arrived in Israel for a three-day visit Tuesday, meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Rivlin in Jerusalem. Kenyatta not only toured Jerusalem, but also planted a tree in the nations’ capital in The Grove of Nations.
President Kenyatta stated that Israel is a “friend of Kenya”, Kenyatta’s visit the first by a Kenyan official since 1994. Netanyahu stated on the diplomatic visit “Israel is coming back to Africa, and Africa is returning to Israel” referencing the friendship between the two nations, specifically Kenya’s aid during the Entebbe raids. Netanyahu stated that both Israel and Kenya are united in “our common battle against militant Islamic terrorists,” adding that “Israel is willing and prepared to work with Africa in our common battle against militant Islamic terrorism.”
Kenyatta stated during a press conference following their meeting that “Both our peoples have suffered casualties at the hands of these brutal terrorists… We in Kenya hold Israel as a dear and very special friend. The war on terrorism is international and we must all join hands together to defeat it… We have no illusions about them. They want to murder our people, and we know that this is a common battle that we share with you.”
President Rivlin addressed Kenya’s struggle with radical Islam stating that Israel “feel the pain together with you. Israel stands together with you against those who pretend to speak in the name of Islam as they murder men, women and children.”
The meeting between the officials focused on economic, trade and security cooperation, with an agreement signed in Jerusalem on future cooperation in irrigation and agriculture. Kenyatta stated “There are unlimited opportunities for local and foreign investors and we invited Israeli investors to invest more in Kenya.”