NAIROBI/JOHANNESBURG. – Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke with US President Donald Trump via telephone on Tuesday evening, the Presidency has confirmed. Trump affirmed bilateral relations between the two countries and lauded Kenya’s regional efforts especially in the area of fighting the al-Shabaab insurgents who continue to threaten the Horn of Africa’s peace.
The two leaders discussed economic partnership and mutual dedication to overcoming terrorism and other regional security challenges through close cooperation.
A readout of the call released by the White House reads in part: “The two leaders discussed our economic partnership and mutual dedication to overcoming terrorism and other regional security challenges through close cooperation.
‘‘The two leaders also discussed ways to boost bilateral trade and investment in Kenya and the broader East Africa region.”
Al-Shabaab becomes the second Africa-based terrorist group the Trump administration has committed to helping combat. In his chat with Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari, he stated the readiness of the US to help in the fight against Boko Haram.
Trump has now spoken to African leaders from four regions of the continent. Southern Africa (Jacob Zuma), West Africa (Buhari), North Africa (Abdel Fattah Al Sisi) and East Africa (Kenyatta).
He is yet to meet an African leader since taking office. The Trump administration has however been ruffling feathers on the continent. His two travel bans have affected three African countries – Libya, Somalia and Sudan. It also remains to be known when he will undertake a visit to Africa.
Meanwhile, members of the Pan African parliament have reportedly decried the United States’ plan to implement major reductions in foreign aid. According to SABC, president of the Pan African parliament, Bernadette Lahai, said that the continental parliament was “concerned” over the US’ decision.
“No country is independent from each other. We want fair trade not aid,” Lahai was quoted as saying.
The US government was a major financial contributor to peacekeeping and humanitarian aid in Africa. According to The Washington Post, President Donald Trump was likely to slush foreign aid by at least 37 percent. – News Agencies.