Kenya: Press remarks by High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell at the joint press conference with Cabinet Secretary Omamo
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Thank you dear Cabinet Secretary [for Foreign Affairs of Kenya, Raychelle Omamo], thank you for your warm reception in this beautiful country, just three weeks before the Summit in Brussels between the African Union and the European Union.
We have been having, the European Union and Kenya, a long-standing relation, but we are no longer the donor of development aid, we are a strategic partner.
Kenya is for us a key partner to pursue an agenda of a shared interest: promoting peace and security - Kenya is a beacon of stability in a very much troubled region of the Horn of Africa -; prosperity and stability. Thank you for the strong contribution that Kenya is doing for Somalia. Thank you for hosting so many refugees.
There is no doubt that global stability is at stake here and in the whole world. And this requires that like-minded countries, like the European Union and Kenya, join their efforts in order to work together in many fields, as the ones that are going to be covered by this Strategic Partnership. Today we are going to work on that: security, sustainable development, economic growth, trade agreements. On all that, we will work in order to overcome the legal and technical difficulties to make our trade agreements better and incorporating more commitments on sustainability. And I hope that soon we will be able to finish this work.
This Strategic Partnership is for the Kenyan people and for the people of the European Union. It will bring concrete results, because it is going to be focusing on delivering commitments, actions, investments, sharing objectives among our people, because we will be, from now on, a much closer partner than in the past.
Together we have to solve problems that are our common problems. I am not here to try to solve Kenya’s problems, because your problems are my problems. And in order to solve them, we have to work together.
This is the spirit of my visit, this is the spirit of the very useful discussions that I have had the pleasure to have with you [Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs of Kenya, Raychelle Omamo] and with the President [of Kenya, Uhuru] Kenyatta. Let us start a new way of a shared and deeper partnership.
Q. I was wondering if you have discussed the ongoing war in Ethiopia and ways to boost the possibility of reaching peace in Ethiopia? Do you share the view of the United States that a Russian invasion of Ukraine is imminent?
Look, certainly in my conversation with the Cabinet Secretary [for Foreign Affairs of Kenya] Raychelle Omamo, we have been overlooking all issues of the international arena and also had the opportunity to listen to the analysis by His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta about the situation in Ethiopia.
We have been talking about all troubles in this troubled world, certainly more about the ones who are closer to us, closer to Kenya. Closer to me on these days. Among them Somalia, the AMISOM mission, Operation ATALANTA, Ethiopia. I think that the Cabinet Secretary has already answered about that, and certainly we praise and support a lot the effort that Kenya has been doing in order to try to look for the dialogue solution to the conflict in Ethiopia. And I briefed the Cabinet Secretary about all the problems which are a little bit further away. Some of them are African problems, like the ones in the Sahel where certainly the succession of coups d'État has created another difficulty in a region shaken by a lot of socio-economic and geopolitical problems.
And I did not expect to be questioned about Ukraine here in Kenya. I only can tell you that even if I am in Africa, I am in close contact with what is happening in Europe and at the time being we are investing all our capacities on diplomatic reach out. That's the moment for diplomacy, that is the moment to try to look through dialogue for something that could prevent a conflict, a military conflict, but in these cases, you know, wait for the best and prepare for the worst.
Link to the video: https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-217599