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US' Blinken pushes for end to Sudan unrest, Ethiopia war in visit to Kenya

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 01: Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks during the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 at SECC on November 1, 2021 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. World Leaders attending COP26 are under pressure to agree measures to deliver on emission reduction targets that will lead the world to net-zero by 2050. Other goals of the summit are adapting to protect communities and natural habitats, mobilising $100billion in climate finance per year and get countries working together to meet the challenges of the climate crisis. (Photo by Yves Herman - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta speaks during the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 at SECC on November 1, 2021 in Glasgow, United Kingdom [Yves Herman - WPA Pool/Getty Images]

Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, and US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, met Wednesday in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi for talks focusing on worsening crises in Ethiopia and Sudan, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Blinken said he told Kenyatta that "our special envoy Jeffrey Feltman is working with high representative (Olusegun) Obasanjo to press the parties to end hostilities immediately and without preconditions, to stop human rights abuses and violations, to provide humanitarian access for the millions in northern Ethiopia who are in dire need of life-saving supplies."

A statement from the Kenyan Presidency said that at the closed meeting the two leaders "explored new opportunities for collaboration in resolving ongoing regional conflicts and achieving sustainable peace in the Horn of Africa."

Kenyatta and Blinken covered an array of subjects, including the coronavirus pandemic and climate change.

READ: Ethiopian leader, marking year of war, says he will bury foes 'with our blood'

Blinken and his delegation also held bilateral talks with Kenyan Foreign Minister, Raychelle Omamo.

Blinken and Omamo told a news conference that the two countries pledged to work closely on the UN Security Council and other regional and multilateral institutions to address sources of regional instability in the Horn of Africa and elsewhere.

"We believe in the potential of Ethiopia to find a resolution to this crisis. We believe a cease-fire is possible. We believe the other conditions regarding humanitarian access are possible," said Omamo.

Both countries reiterated that it is important for the Ethiopian government, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF) and all armed groups involved in the violent conflict there to commit to an immediate cessation of hostilities and a negotiated cease-fire.

They said it needs to allow the full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to populations in need, to undertake an inclusive national dialogue and to oppose hate speech and incitement based on ethnicity, religion or regional origins.

Military takeover in Sudan, terrorism, climate change

They also voiced serious concerns about the military takeover in Sudan and called for the restoration of a civilian-led transitional government based on the constitutional declaration and other foundational documents of the transition.

Kenya and the US said they are committed to deepening economic ties, expanding bilateral trade and advancing shared economic prosperity for the benefit of the Kenyan and American people.

They agreed to work on counter-terrorism, border security, maritime security, and professionalisation of security forces.

The officials also pledged to maintain pressure on Al-Shabaab and other terror groups operating in the Horn of Africa through military exercises, joint operations, provision of equipment, and security cooperation.

Regarding the environment and climate change, the two sides expressed commitment to cooperate bilaterally and multilaterally in providing institutional support and building capacity for environmental conservation, climate change, food security, weather monitoring, and implementation of multilateral environment agreements.

They pledged to increase maritime security cooperation to harness the blue economy and safeguard a free, open and prosperous Indian Ocean region.​​​​​​​

READ: ICJ sides with Somalia in maritime border dispute with Kenya

Categories
AfricaAsia & AmericasEthiopiaKenyaNewsSudanUS
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