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Uhuru holds Netanyahu talks as Israel visit kicks off

23 February 2016, 20:31

Nairobi - President Uhuru Kenyatta met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, at the start of a historic visit to cement security and trade relations.

Uhuru visited Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem where he spoke of the ties and his desire to expand relations in a wide range of areas in which Israel is strong.

The two leaders, The Star reported, signed agreements on irrigation and agriculture, furthering an agenda that Nairobi and Tel Aviv have sought to deepen over the last several years.

Kenya is also seeking closer ties with Israel in developing infrastructure, mining, ICT and closer links between universities.

Uhuru hailed Israel as “a friend of Kenya” while the Prime Minister expressed happiness at seeing him honour a long-standing invitation to Israel.

The President arrived in Israel on Monday with a delegation that reflects his agenda of investment, agriculture and irrigation, trade, security and health.

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Cabinet Secretaries Amina Mohammed (Foreign Affairs), Joseph Nkaissery (Interior), Eugene Wamalwa (Water), and Cleopa Mailu (Health) are also with him.

Uhuru planted a tree at The Grove of Nations in Jerusalem. He became the 80th Head of State to do so at the forest of nations, as it is known, where visiting leaders plant olive trees.

Capital News added that he separately met Israeli President Reuven Rivlin with whom he spoke on the need for closer ties between the countries. Netanyahu is the Head of Government while Rivlin is the Head of State.

Uhuru and Rivlin said the countries will cooperate more in the war against terror, Uhuru noting that Kenya wants to benefit from Israel’s expertise.

"We in Kenya hold Israel as a dear and very special friend. The war on terrorism is international and we must all join hands to defeat it," Uhuru said.

He added: "There are unlimited opportunities for local and foreign investors. We invite Israelis to invest more in Kenya."

The Israeli leader said Uhuru's visit to Israel, the first by a Kenyan president in 22 years, was a key step in strengthening existing ties.

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- News24


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