Biden invites Kenya's president Ruto for state visit to US

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WASHINGTON, USA - Kenya's President William Ruto will be traveling to the United States for the first state visit by the East Africa nation's head of state in over a decade, in what signals the country's growing influence in the region which is battling both economic and security stability.

Kenya, a regional powerhouse, has been America's most strategic ally in East Africa, playing a key role in fighting Al-Shabaab, a group that controls vast regions in central and southern Somalia. Over time, concerted efforts from foreign and national armies have managed to limit the group's influence.

Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House Press Secretary, said the state visit has been scheduled for May 23rd this year as President Joe Biden also intensifies his bid to recapture the White House later in November this year. He is facing a stiff challenge from former president, Donald Trump.

"The upcoming visit will mark the 60th anniversary of U.S.-Kenya diplomatic relations and will celebrate a partnership that is delivering for the people of the United States and Kenya. The visit will strengthen our shared commitment to advance peace and security, expand our economic ties, and stand together in defense of democratic values," she said.

"The leaders will discuss ways to bolster our cooperation in areas including people-to-people ties, trade and investment, technological innovation, climate and clean energy, health, and security. The visit will affirm our strategic partnership with Kenya and further the vision set forth at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit: African leadership is essential to addressing global priorities."

The United States is likely to remain in Somalia for a long period after the soldiers were recalled by Biden, following their unprecedented exit during Trump's presidency. The soldiers are mostly operating from Kenya but have been giving African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and local troops aerial surveillance.

Kenya has maintained that it will monitor its borders upon ATMIS exit, with Somalia also insisting that it is ready to take over security responsibilities. The fight against Al-Shabaab and other violent extremist groups could predominantly feature in the trip.

GAROWE ONLINE

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