President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday, October 29, held talks with King Abdullah II of Jordan and discussed trade and bilateral relations between the two countries.
This is another of the many recent diplomatic engagements between Kenya and Jordan.
In November 2014, a year after assuming power in 2013, President Kenyatta discussed with King Abdullah II ways of combating extremism during his visit to the UAE.
In April 2015, President Kenyatta was in the Kingdom of Jordan, where he attended a summit on how to combat terrorism and radicalisation — the Horn of Africa Coordination Meeting.
In September of 2016, King Abdullah II was in Kenya for his first state visit to Kenya, which State House said would focus on security.
After the arrival ceremonies, the two leaders proceeded to Embakasi to witness joint military exercises conducted by the Kenya Defence Forces and the Royal Jordanian Armed Forces at the Embakasi Garrison.
President Uhuru Kenyatta receives his Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan at the Jomo Kenyatta International Aiport / FILE
Speaking during the event, Kenyatta said the joint exercise is aimed at creating and improving interoperability between Kenyan and Jordanian forces.
“I am convinced that now our forces are ready for real problems in either of our countries, or elsewhere, should the need arise to tackle either conventional or asymmetric threats,” he said.
Kenya and Jordan in April 2017 agreed to set up a joint business lobby to boost bilateral ties. The initiative was agreed on during the closing ceremony of the Jordanian-Kenyan trade committee’s first session, headed by Jordanian Trade Minister Yarub Qudah and his Kenyan counterpart Adan Mohamed.
This came shortly after Jordan opened an embassy in Nairobi, after investors in the Middle East nation urged their government to a mission in Kenya to deepen trade and bilateral relations.
Kenya is yet to open a mission in Jordan, and the ambassador to Egypt is also accredited to the Kingdom.
INTENSIFIED HIGH-LEVEL VISITS
August 2018, parliamentary diplomacy, counterterrorism intelligence and the Big Four agenda dominated talks as Senate Speaker Ken Lusaka made his first official visit to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
In December same year, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb Monica Juma was in Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan for a 3-day official visit to represent President Kenyatta in the “Aqaba Process Follow-up meeting on East Africa” on invitation by King Abdullah II.
According to the MFA’s briefing, the CS and her Jordan counterpart Ayman Safadi discussed “cooperation particularly in the area of regional and global peace and security”.
A year later, in August Lusaka’s counterpart in the National Assembly Justin Muturi met officials of the Jordanian Parliament and called for talks on growing investments through a conducive legislative regime, enhancement of trade; tourism and security.
In the recent visit, Uhuru and King Abdullah want their two countries to establish special status relations, directed their respective ministries to fast track the implementation of bilateral trade agreements.
During CS Juma’s visit, the two states agreed to urgently put together a multi-sectoral team of experts to expeditiously finalize the proposed Special Status Agreement to elevate the Kenya-Jordan relationship to a strategic level.
This would also provide the foundation for follow up on technical level discussions in education, tourism, trade, labour, security, health and agriculture.
President Kenyatta and the Jordanian King met on the sidelines of the Future Investment Initiative (FII), a global financial conference being hosted in Saudi Arabia where 40 countries are taking part.
The two leaders also discussed cooperation between Kenya and Jordan in measures to confront radicalisation.
President Kenyatta further sought the support of King Abdullah II for Kenya’s bid for a non-permanent United Nations Security Council seat.