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Kenya says ties with Western nations remain strong

23 June 2014, 08:04

Nairobi - Kenya on Sunday denied reports that its ties with Western nations have been affected by growing insecurity that has prompted foreign nations to downscale their presence and engagement with Nairobi.

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade said Kenya will continue to work closely with its partners in security.

"We have been assured in no uncertain terms that all countries accredited to Kenya, and especially the Western ones, are, if anything, deepening their commitment to our partnership," the statement said.

Local media reported on Sunday that the war on Aids in Kenya and its economic growth will suffer as donor agencies downscale their engagement with Kenya as a result of growing terror threats in the country.

The stories alleged that Kenya's diplomatic relations with the West are poisoned and that this, combined with a heightened state of insecurity, is leading to the western nations and UN agencies to downscale their presence and engagement with Kenya.

"These stories are misleading and mischaracterizing Kenya's increasing centrality in the multilateral arena, regional peace and security efforts, and indeed as a platform for the delivery of humanitarian and developmental intervention in the region," the ministry said.

The statement said UN's presence in Kenya has never been stronger, adding that Nairobi today takes its place alongside New York City, Vienna and Geneva as UN global headquarters, and the only one in the south globe.

"It is home to not only UNEP and UN-Habitat, but also the UN Office at Nairobi (UNON), and the offices of at least 25 UN agencies, funds plus dozens of programs. In Nairobi alone, there are 4000 UN local and international staff and over 10,000 family members," the statement said.

"In total, including the Bretton Woods institutions and humanitarian and refugee agencies, over 5000 staff members, many with their families, live and work in Kenya. That number has continued to grow over the years," it said.

"Two UN agencies have recently established small offices in Nairobi: UNAIDS has just moved its global IT hub to Nairobi, and WHO recently moved its global security section to Nairobi."

The statement said Kenya at this point is a country of consequence in the global conversation given the international conferences it hosted last week between the EU and African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) where delegates from 110 countries and dozens of ministers attended.

The ministry said Albert II, the Prince of Monaco, Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary-General of the UN, the outgoing and incoming presidents of the UN General Assembly, and the leaders of the foremost developmental and environmental organizations are due in Nairobi this week for the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) meeting.

 - Xinhua

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