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Tanzania assures Kenya of sound bilateral ties ahead of presidential polls

07 October 2015, 20:42

Nairobi - Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has assured Kenya that there will be no policy shift that will undermine cooperation between the two neighbouring countries even after he vacates the office.

President Kikwete said stronger ties with Kenya were in the best interest of his nation, saying the two countries have a long history of cooperation and friendship which has continued to be fruitful over the years.

"You can't have a policy that takes your hand elsewhere unless it is towards your mouth, there is clarity on the Tanzania side on this policy," Kikwete said on Monday night during a dinner hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta in Nairobi.

Kikwete, who is due to vacate office after the general elections later this month, noted that Kenya is the largest economy in East Africa and the largest market for Tanzanian products, adding that it would be absurd for the two countries to have friction.

Also read: Tenants vacate Embakasi's Taj Mall as title deed revoked

Kikwete observed that Kenya is major source of investment for Tanzania, and trade between the two countries has grown exponentially in the last five years.

President Kenyatta termed President Kikwete's state visit as one that has solidified cordial relations Kenyans and Tanzanians have enjoyed over the centuries.

He said the visit has set the stage for Kenya and Tanzania to push existing cooperation to new levels as they shift gear to more areas of collaboration.

"Our two countries have strengthened bilateral cooperation in various fields -- in trade and investment, in immigration and banking -- as we work towards the full integration of the East African Community (EAC)," Kenyatta said.

Kenyatta applauded his Tanzanian counterpart for creating an environment that has encouraged investors from Kenya to do business in the neighbouring country.

Kenyatta commended the Tanzanian leader for his exemplary leadership and bade him farewell as he retires after the next general election.

The president also wished the neighbouring country a successful General Election to be held later this month.


- Xinhua


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