Ruto discusses food security, regional peace with US Secretary of State Blinken
Secretary Blinken announced that the two leaders discussed Kenya and the United States’ ongoing efforts to tackle food insecurity, as well as regional peace and security.
“Good meeting with Kenyan President @WilliamsRuto to discuss our countries’ ongoing efforts to address food insecurity and regional peace and security,” Blinken said in a tweet on Wednesday night, alongside photos of the two leaders and First Lady Rachel Ruto.
Blinken further expressed hope in the two country’s bilateral relations, and further pointed out trade and investment as some of the key areas the United States is seeking to partner with Kenya moving forward.
“I look forward to strengthening our strategic partnership, especially on trade and investment,” added the Secretary of State.
The two leaders met during the ongoing United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), where on Wednesday night President Ruto also gave the national statement.
In his inaugural address at the assembly, Dr. Ruto among other things urged the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to extend debt relief to countries worst hit by the COVD-19 pandemic.
Ruto told delegates that nations also affected by conflict and climate change should also be considered.
“On behalf of Kenya, therefore, I join other leaders in calling upon the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and other multilateral lenders to extend pandemic-related debt relief to the worst hit countries, especially those affected by the devastating combination of conflict, climate change and covid-19,” he said.
“Furthermore, I urge the G20 to extend and expand the scope of the common framework to suspend or reschedule debt repayments by middle-income countries during the pandemic recovery period.”
The Head of State also drummed up his bottom-up economic model agenda, telling world leaders that his government seeks to include the marginalised working majority in Kenya’s economic mainstream.
“Building back better from the bottom upwards is, essentially, about including the marginalised working majority in the economic mainstream,” he said.
The Kenyan leader had earlier held talks with the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a meeting focused on peace and security, Kenya’s membership of the UN Security Council, climate change and the humanitarian crisis in the region.
Dr. Ruto’s team said Kenya vowed to continue playing its role to enhance peace, security and stability in the region.
The Head of State also assured Mr Guterres that Kenya will continue working with the UN and other international partners to solve long-standing conflicts, poverty and vulnerability to climate change in the region.
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