Brussels, 28 August 2012
Remarks by the High Representative Catherine Ashton following her meeting with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga in Nairobi
Prime Minister, I thank you very much for the opportunity we have had to talk together about the key issues that are of mutual interest to us.
On Sudan and South Sudan, you and I are fully in agreement as regards supporting the comprehensive peace agreement and all the work that is going on to find solutions to the challenges that remain. We will continue to work together to achieve that.
I travelled yesterday to Mogadishu and met with the President, the Prime Minister and other ministers, the Interim Speaker of the Parliament and the Chair and members of the parliamentary election committee. We talked about the aspirations of the people of Somalia for lasting peace, stability and prosperity. As I have told you, Prime Minister, I head away with a sense of hope there was real commitment to find solutions to these outstanding issues and hopefully to see the election of a Speaker of the Parliament followed by the election of a President. And most importantly, to give the people of Somalia a clear message that the Somali leadership is determined to bring peace and stability to the country and therefore to bring stability and prosperity across the region. The European Union will continue to work closely with its partners, including Kenya and the African Union, to help the people of Somalia once again find peace and security.
We have three European Union missions which are in operation in this regard: a training mission for contributing to bring security and stability to Somalia, a mission to help with maritime security and a third mission, operation Atalanta, collaborating with Kenya and its Navy and other countries, with aircraft and helicopter surveillance to try to prevent piracy. Piracy affects the World Food Programme and its capacity to deliver food to those in great need, it affects trade for all of us and we need to find ways not only to prevent it but also to find a solution to it on the land and on the sea. I am very pleased by the fact that the number of piracy incidents has dropped from 65 in 2010 to this year only five, which is five too many but this is nevertheless a significant reduction.
We have also talked about the bilateral relationship between Kenya and the European Union and the important partnership that the EU has with Kenya. We wish you every possible success in the organisation of peaceful elections. I would be very interested to hear more about the new constitution, how that is working and to be absolutely clear on our determination to support you in securing peaceful elections next year in March. To do so we are providing an observation mission, support to the development of the electoral commission and support beyond that through our bilateral partnership.
It is a great privilege to be back in Kenya, it is a great privilege, Prime Minister. to see you again and to say to the people of Kenya: we wish you very well in the coming months and we hope you will see that the European Union is a strong partner for the people of this country. And we believe that with the new constitution there is a great future for Kenya and its people.
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