free trade push

US-Kenya: Biden and Kenyatta talk trade, Covid and Ethiopia

By Julian Pecquet, in Washington D.C.

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Posted on October 15, 2021 08:22

U.S. President Joe Biden meets with Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta at the White House in Washington
U.S. President Joe Biden holds a bilateral meeting with Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 14, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

US President Joe Biden greeted his Kenyan counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta in his first White House meeting with an African leader determined to usher in what he called “a new era of US cooperation with the African continent based on principles of mutual respect and equality.” 

For the US president, the meeting was a chance to create goodwill and court a key strategic ally in the Horn of Africa. The US notably looks to Kenya to help fight the Al Shabab militant group and urge the warring parties in Tigray to end a conflict that is destabilizing the fragile region.

The meeting “demonstrates a new era of US partnership with Africa that is based on principles of mutual respect and equity, as laid out by President Biden in his address to the African Union summit,” a senior White House official told reporters ahead of the meeting.

“Why Kenya? Well, Kenya is a strong bilateral partner and a leader on regional and global issues,” the official said, adding that other topics of discussion include “defending democracy and human rights, strengthening financial transparency, accelerating economic growth and tackling climate change.”

As for Kenyatta, the meeting is a

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