THE STAR|NAIROBI: Kenya and Somalia have committed to ending violent extremism, Defence Cabinet secretary Aden Duale said.
Duale said the two countries will partner in areas of trade and investments as they foster peace and security.
The CS said the commitments were made by President William Ruto and his Somalia counterpart Hassan Mohamud during bilateral talks in the US.
The two are attending a three-day U.S-Africa Summit in Washington DC.
Delegates from 49 African countries, as well as the African Union, were invited to the summit in the US capital, a follow-up to the first such gathering eight years ago under President Barack Obama
Duale said Kenya, apart from defending its borders against external aggression, has been instrumental in fostering peace in the Horn of Africa.
“Under different programmes, to different places and at different times, we have sent out our service troops on peacekeeping missions which have proven successful. One such place that attributes its peace and stability to the Kenyan Defence Force is Somalia,” he said.
Ties between Kenya and Somalia fell to a historic low in November 2020.
Somalia cut off diplomatic relations and accused Kenya of meddling in its internal affairs.
Then Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta had hosted the political leadership from Somaliland, a breakaway state that Somalia’s central government does not recognise.
Somalia expelled Kenya’s envoy to Mogadishu and recalled his country’s ambassador. Kenya has denied meddling and accused Somalia of using it as a scapegoat to score political points at home.
Kenya has hosted hundreds of thousands of refugees since the fall of Somalia’s dictator Siad Barre in 1991.
The two nations are also engaged in a long-running maritime territorial feud across the Indian Ocean believed to hold valuable oil and gas reserves.