Sri Lanka and Kenya have agreed to enhance cooperation and the sharing of experiences especially in the areas of counterterrorism and defence, a joint communiqué said.
The communiqué issued following the bilateral meeting between Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta held at the State House in Nairobi, stated:
“President Uhuru Kenyatta observed that drawing from the Sri Lankan experience, Kenya was confident that the fight against retrogressive elements and extremists can be won. The two Leaders agreed to enhance cooperation and the sharing of experiences especially in the areas of counterterrorism and defence.”
“The two Heads of State noted with satisfaction that Sri Lanka’s application for observer status in the African Union was a clear demonstration of the mutual desire for closer collaboration and partnership between Sri Lanka and Africa as well as a hallmark of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bold vision for greater south - south cooperation,” it said.
JOINT COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED FOLLOWING THE BILATERAL MEETING BETWEEN HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT UHURU KENYATTA AND HIS EXCELLENCY PRESIDENT MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA, HELD AT STATE HOUSE NAIROBI
1. At the invitation of His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta, His Excellency Mahinda Rajapaksa, President of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka graced the celebrations commemorating the Golden Jubilee Anniversary of Kenya’s independence on 12th December, 2013.
2. His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa also cordially accepted to pay a two day state visit after the Jubilee celebrations on 13th and 14thDecember, 2013. This is the very first State Visit to Kenya by a Head of State of Sri Lanka.
3. During his state visit, His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa was accompanied byFirst Lady Madam ShiranthiWickremasinghe Rajapaksa, Hon. (Prof) G. L. Peiris, Minister of External Affairs, Hon. Shasheendra Rajapaksa, Chief Minister of the Uva Province, Hon. GitanjanaGunawardena, Deputy Minister for Civil Aviation, Hon. Sajin de Vass Gunawardena, Monitoring Member of Parliament for the Ministry of External Affairs as well as a high ranking senior government officials and business leaders from Sri Lanka.
4. Earlier today at State House Nairobi, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and HisExcellency Mahinda Rajapaksa held bilateral talks covering on bilateral as well as regional and multilateral issues of mutual interest.
5. In this meeting, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta welcomed his counterpart and his delegation and thanked him for participating in eventscommemorating the Golden Jubilee of Kenya’s independence and for agreeing to pay a state visit. His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta further noted that His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s presence in Kenya was a true testimony to the enduring friendship between our two countries.
6. His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed heartfelt gratitude to His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta for the gracious hospitality and care afforded to him and the Sri Lanka delegation, noting that this was a clear reflection of the strong longstanding bonds of friendship shared by the two countries.
7. On behalf of the Government and the people of Sri Lanka, His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa congratulated the Government and people of Kenya on the auspicious occasion of the 50th anniversary of independence and noted that after independence, Kenya had emerged as a leader and a voice for Africa and the developing world having taken its rightful place in the comity of nations.
8. His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta also congratulated His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the People of Sri Lanka for the great strides the nation has made in development and nation building noting that His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s transformational leadership and the support received from the great people of Sri Lanka had guided the country from challenging past decades into a promising future of peace and greater prosperity.
9. His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa congratulated His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta for his dynamic, visionary leadership which has harnessed and nurtured ethnic and religious harmony and enabled the Republic of Kenya to establish political stability and economic prosperity.
10. The two leaders hailed the warm and cordial relations which continue to flourish between Kenya and Sri Lanka noting that ties between our two countries are firmly underpinned not only by our shared values and interests but also a shared historical experience as exemplified by our common struggle against colonialism and imperialism as well as our mutual resolve to overcome the challenges of development.
11. The two Leaders agreed that this timely state visit was an exceptional opportunity to consolidate this longstanding partnership between our two countries and forge even closer ties heading into a new and promising future of shared destiny and mutual prosperity.
12. Towards this end,the two Leaders reiterated their commitment to the continued expansion of these excellent ties and to build a fresh momentum for cooperation in all areas of mutual interest.
13. Guided by the necessity to establish a solid framework to facilitate seamless engagement between the two Governments, the two Leaders commended the signing of the Agreement establishing the Kenya – Sri LankaJoint Commission for Cooperation. The Joint Commission for Cooperation will be the primary point of contact for advancing, monitoring and evaluating bilateral ties between the two countries. The following instruments were also concluded in the presence of the two Heads of State:
1. Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Relations, 2. Memorandum of Understanding on Bilateral Trade, 3. Memorandum of Understanding on Economic and Technical Cooperation, 4. Memorandum of Understanding on Visa exemption for holders of Diplomatic and Official passports, 5. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Tourism, 6. Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Cooperation. 7. Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the field of Sports.
14. The two Leaders agreed to further enhance cooperation in the areas of trade and economic cooperation. Towards this end, Their Excellencies instructed the relevant institutions to initiate consultations leading to the conclusion of agreements in the areas of investment promotion and protection and avoidance of double taxation.
They further agreed to enhance cooperation in the development of production and processing capacity in agriculture particularly with regard to coconut processing, promoting people to people contacts, sharing experiences in the areas of development, governance and institutional reforms, deepening collaboration in the areas of education and research, partnerships in minerals processing, hospitality, textiles development and financial services.
15. Given the two countries shared interest in the Indian Ocean, the two leaders agreed to launch focused initiatives in the areas of shipping and port connectivity, the sustainable management and extraction of ocean based resources and ensuring security of sea lanes particularly from the threat of piracy.
16. His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta briefed his counterpart on the collective action being made by regional states and the African Union to improve the security infrastructure within the region. It was noted that this concerted efforts had realised considerable gains particularly with regard to securing Somalia and settling differences in the Great Lakes region.
17. His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed has solidarity with the people of the Republic of Kenya following the cowardly terrorist attack on Westgate mall. His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa further highlighted that acts of terrorism in any form cannot be condoned with, and resolved that Sri Lanka and Kenya as victims must endeavour to bring the global community together in eliminating.this menace.
18. His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta observed that drawing from the Sri Lankan experience, Kenya was confident that the fight against retrogressive elements and extremists can be won. The two Leaders agreed to enhance cooperation and the sharing of experiences especially in the areas of counterterrorism and defence.
19. The two Heads of State noted with satisfaction that Sri Lanka’s application for observer status in the African Union was a clear demonstration of the mutual desire for closer collaboration and partnership between Sri Lanka and Africa as well as a hallmark of His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s bold vision for greater south - south cooperation.
20. His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta commendedHis Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksafor hisvery able stewardship of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and for assuming the high office of Chair of the Commonwealth. The President applauded the many satisfactory outcomes achieved in Colombo and noted in particular that the Colombo Declaration on Sustainable, Inclusive and Equitable Development is a hallmark document focusing on the imperative need for equity and inclusivity in economic development.
21. His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa explained to his counterpart, the basis of identifying the special theme for the Summit by Sri Lanka, as being the need to focus primarily on economic and development issues affecting the Member States, which is also in keeping with current global realities and the ongoing international debate on a post 2015 development agenda and identifying sustainable development goals.
22. His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa welcomed his counterpart’s assumption of the Chairmanship of the East African Community noting that the Community will benefit immensely from the visionary and dynamic leadership of His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta as it charts a new historic course in integration including the establishment of a monetary union.
23. The two Presidents reviewed the great awakening and other historical developments being witnessed in the global south including improvements to the peace and security infrastructure, rapid economic expansionand greater solidarity. The two Leaders noted with satisfaction thateven in the midst of severe economic, social and political instability, south – south cooperation remains buoyant and a source of growth and stability. In keeping with their shared desire to deepen south – south cooperation, the two Heads of State reaffirmed their commitment to work even more closely in promoting equity and inclusivity, promoting the development of a more free and democratic global governance system as well as protecting the development space and shared interests of the global south.
24. His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta accepted an invitation extended by His Excellency President Mahinda Rajapaksa to pay a state visit to Sri Lanka at a time to be mutually agreed.
25. The two Leaders will later today (Saturday, 14th December, 2013) attended the Kenya - Sri Lanka Business Forum organized jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Kenya, the Ministry of External Affairs of Sri Lanka and the Kenyan Chamber of Commerce and Industries. In this Forum, opportunities of deepening trade and economic ties between Kenya and Sri Lanka will be discussed. It is also anticipated that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Kenyan Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce will be signed in the presence of the two Heads of State. Also arrangements have made on this occasion to officially hand over the Certificate of completion on ‘Nanyuki Power Transmission Project’ constructed by Sri Lankan LTL Holding ( PVT ) to Kenya Power and Lighting Company in the gracious presence of the two Presidents.
26. This Joint Communiqué embodies the vision of the leaders of Kenya and Sri Lanka for harnessing the enormous potential available for further strengthening and consolidating this comprehensive partnership in all areas of bilateral endeavour.
27. To achieve the goals set out in this joint communiqué, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to a sustained political engagement, more frequent high-level exchanges and regular dialogues between their officials. They also agreed to further promote policy exchanges between ministries and departments of both Governments and enhanced cooperation in new fields of collaboration such as through parliamentary exchanges.