Kenya: Ruto’s visit should strengthen relations between Dar and Nairobi
POMP and fanfare hailed the arrival of Kenyan President William Ruto as he landed at Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) on Sunday for bilateral talks with his host, President Samia Suluhu Hassan, in what could further strengthen socio-economic links between Dar es Salaam and Nairobi.
This is Ruto’s first-ever state visit to Tanzania since he was sworn in last month after receiving an invitation from President Samia.
The new Kenyan leader was received at the JNIA by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Stergomena Tax.
Dr. Ruto was accompanied by a delegation of officials and his wife Rachel Ruto.
Today, the two leaders are due to hold an official meeting at Magogoni State House in Dar es Salaam.
According to a statement issued yesterday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, after their meeting, the two leaders will hold a press conference and later Dr. Ruto and his delegation will be treated at a banquet. State organized in his honor by President Samia.
President Ruto has so far made four foreign visits since taking office. His first trip was to the UK where he joined other world leaders at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.
After the trip to the UK, he flew to the United States to attend the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) which opened on September 13 this year. He was yesterday in Uganda to attend the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the independence of this country.
His visit to Tanzania is expected to boost trade between the two neighboring countries which are also members of the East African Community (EAC).
Trade between Tanzania and Kenya is the highest in the EAC, fueled by strong and continued trade links between the two countries, Non-Tariff Trade Barriers (NTBs) that previously impeded cross-border trade continue to be removed.
President Ruto’s visit also signals the growth of bilateral relations in various sectors of the economy between the two countries.
Shortly after President Ruto was announced the winner of the presidential election held on August 9 this year, President Samia pledged to continue working with Kenya to bring social and economic development to their respective countries.
She then sent a congratulatory message to the Kenyan leader when his election was upheld by the Supreme Court of Kenya.
“I look forward to working with you to strengthen the historic bond and cooperation between our two nations,” President Samia wrote on her official Twitter account.
In an earlier post on her account when Dr Ruto was announced the winner by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission of Kenya (IEBC), Ms Samia tweeted; “I congratulate the people of Kenya on their peaceful general elections and the subsequent announcement of [email protected] as President-Elect.
To add; “We look forward to continuing to work with our brothers and sisters in Kenya to strengthen our historically close ties. Tuko Pamoja (we are together),” President Samia tweeted.
Tanzania is the second country among the seven EAC member states to be visited by President Ruto since he took office. Other members of the regional bloc include Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The Kenyan leader also told President Samia that his government is committed to improving relations with Tanzania in trade, agriculture, security and other sectors.
Mr Ruto made the pledge during a meeting between the two leaders at State House in Nairobi when she traveled to that country to attend the former’s swearing-in ceremony.
President Samia had already visited Kenya last year, a few months after taking power. The visit covered various issues including trade, economic and social issues.