Britain would like to see Kenya and Somalia resolve the maritime border dispute amicably, British High Commissioner to Kenya Jane Marriott has said.
Speaking in Karen, Nairobi, when she met Deputy President William Ruto, H.E. Marriott said “dialogue remains key to solving the maritime dispute between the two nations”.
She said it was remarkable that President Uhuru Kenyatta met with his Somalia counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi in the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), New York last week to explore ways of resolving the problem.
“Dialogue between Kenya and Somalia on how to solve the maritime dispute is important. This is why the step taken by President Kenyatta to meet with his Somalia counterpart during the United Nations General Assembly was impressive,” said Ms Marriott.
The High Commissioner, assured Kenya that Britain will share information on any possible security threat in the country before taking any action on travel advisories.
She was responding to the Deputy President who had asked the United Kingdom to consider sharing information on any possible security threats on their citizens instead of issuing travel advisories, saying the move was hurting the tourism sector.
She also said terrorism had become a global challenge forcing the United Kingdom to issue travel advisories to its citizens in any part of the world including Kenya for their safety.
Ms Marriot, however, said Britain would work closely with Kenya and share information on any possible security threat before issuing travel advisories.
“We will always share any information with Kenya on possible security threats,” said Ms Marriot.
The Deputy President, on his part, welcomed the move, noting that it would help promote the tourism sector.
Dr Ruto said UK was the largest source of market for Kenya’s tourism.
“We request that UK reviews its travel advisories because Kenya has demonstrated it’s commitment and capacity to fighting terrorism among other security challenges,” said Dr Ruto.
He added: “We have demonstrated that we have to make Kenya safe for Kenyans and its visitors. We know the value of peace and safety of our people and that of our visitors.”
He said Kenya would continue to work together with other nations including Britain in exploring ways of solving the problem of terrorism that has become a challenge across the globe.
The Deputy President said Kenya was seeking the support of Britain to enhance it’s efforts in fighting terrorism caused by the Al-Shabaab and promoting regional peace.
“I must say we have invaluable support from Britain in the fight against terrorism activities that is threatening peaceful coexistence not only among Kenyans and their neighbors but also in the globe,” said Dr Ruto.
The Deputy President, also praised the United Kingdom for its new policy on Kenyan students studying in Britain.
He said it’s impressive to note that Kenya students in UK will benefit from the new policy that will allow them undertake internships to gain relevant skills that enhance their competitiveness in the job market after their studies.
“This move will go a long way in helping the students gain the necessary skills that can enable them compete effectively and cope with the new challenges of the job market,” said Dr Ruto.
The Deputy President also urged Britain to support Kenya for its candidature for its representative to the non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council, adding that the Africa Union has already endorsed it.