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Kenya, Israel pledge to enhance security cooperation

19 June 2014, 07:55

Nairobi - Kenya and Israeli governments pledged on Wednesday to boost cooperation on security, especially in the sharing of information and technology in order to provide quicker solutions.

Visiting Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Liberman said terror groups are networking and it is only through sharing of information that the two governments will be able to stem the threats.

"We need to reduce bureaucracy on issues of sharing security information, the same terror groups like Hamas, ISIS in Iraq, Boko Haram in west Africa and Al-Shabaab share information and network to cause evil," Liberman said during a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi.

"We therefore don't need too many formal systems which sometimes hinder those involved in responding to security threats, " said the deputy PM, who is also the minister of foreign affairs.

He said Israel signed two agreements with Kenya on regular consultations between the ministries of foreign affairs and also on cooperation between Kenyan Red Cross and Israel Magen David Adom regarding training of Kenyan paramedics and ambulance services.

Speaking during the meeting, Kenyatta said the only way to defeat terrorism is for countries to be firm and to continue supporting one another in security and trade issues.

"That is what I have been telling our friends especially from the West. That they don't need to issue any travel advisories to their citizens but rather to encourage them to not only travel but also invest in Kenya," Kenyatta said.

"We stood with our friends when their embassies were bombed here in Nairobi. Even when they were attacked during the 9/11, we showed solidarity with them," he added.

Kenyatta said security challenges facing Kenya are as a result of instability in the neighboring countries, adding "a lot of problems that we face are not made by Kenyan but the neighborhood that we are living in."

He said some countries have been unstable for long and some of their citizens have become fanatical. "These same individuals have sneaked into our country and began radicalizing some of our people, " Kenyatta said.

He said the current terror groups have become technologically savvy, hence they network and share information to perpetuate evil.

Kenyatta said Israel is a true friend who has always stood with Kenya and expressed his gratitude to the Israel government for showing confidence in the country as the regional investment hub.

"Your presence here at this moment is a strong signal that Israel considers Kenya a strong economy for willing investors. It is a strong signal that you are here to stay," Kenyatta said.

The Israel deputy premier said his country has confidence in Kenya as a key investment hub in the region.

He said Israel wants to engage Kenya more in agricultural and irrigation activities and that the 50 Israel companies involved in the forum intend to invest in agriculture, irrigation, green house technology, communication, medicine and homeland security.

Liberman said the challenges and opportunities in Kenya are similar to those in Israel. He stressed the need for the two countries to enhance the relations for mutual benefit of the citizens.

 - Xinhua

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