Kenya has formalized diplomatic relations with Belize and Antigua and Barbuda as ties with the Caribbean region deepen.
Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Raychelle Omamo held consultations with Foreign Ministers of the two Caribbean Community states in Kigali, Rwanda, during the Commonwealth Foreign Ministers Meeting.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Omamo signed the Joint Communique on establishing diplomatic relations with Belize Foreign Minister Eamon Courtenay on Wednesday, June 22 and on Thursday with Chet Greene, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Immigration and Trade of Antigua and Barbuda.
“During discussions on the sidelines of the CFAMM, Amb Omamo noted that under President Uhuru Kenyatta’s leadership, Kenya has continued to value its relations with CARICOM and reaffirmed the commitment of Kenya to spur these relations through opening channels for people to people interactions, trade and exchange of educational programmes, among other areas,” the statement by Foreign Affairs ministry said.
Speaking during the bilateral meeting with Omamo, the Belize Foreign minister said the Belize government decided to open a resident High Commission in Nairobi to pursue strong ties with Kenya and strengthen participation in the global environmental issues by accreditation to the UNEP and UN-Habitat.
He expressed gratitude to Kenya for supporting the establishment of CARICOM offices in Nairobi, which was recently launched formally by CS Omamo and the Barbadian Foreign Minister.
Greene said Antigua and Barbuda is keen to strengthen partnership with Kenya in Blue Economy noting the University of West Indies in offers opportunities to exchange of programmes in the related fields, which Kenya and Africa can take advantage of.
He thanked Kenya for the establishing diplomatic relations and assured that his country would take advantage of the opportunity in the CARICOM Office in Nairobi to open its resident High Commission.
Kenya and Antigua and Barbuda are co-champions of the Commonwealth Blue Charter Action Group on Sustainable Blue Economy.
“The two Joint Communiques commit the signatories to promote and strengthen bilateral ties of friendship and co-operation for the mutual benefits of the peoples of respective countries and further common interests at the global level,” the statement added.
The establishment of the resident representation of the two CARICOM states will strengthen the credentials of Kenya’s capital as a global diplomatic hub and will be the host of the highest number of resident CARICOM diplomatic missions in Africa, the ministry said.
Omamo was accompanied by Ambassador Moi Lemoshira, Secretary, Foreign Service Administration, Ambassador Angeline Musili, Director for Europe and Commonwealth and Ambassador Manoah Esipisu, Kenya’s High Commissioner to the UK and Permanent Delegate to the Commonwealth, among others.