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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 12.01.2017

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee yesterday (January 11, 2017) received His Excellency Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta, the President of the Republic of Kenya at Rashtrapati Bhavan. He also hosted a banquet in his honour.

Welcomingthe President of Kenya, the President said India’s relationship with Kenya is centuries old. India and Kenya fought together as brothers against colonialism. The two countries are bound by common belief in democratic values and traditions. India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had a special relationship with Kenyan President’s father, President Jomo Kenyatta who laid the foundation of the Kenyan nation.

The President said India and Kenya have made significant progress in cooperation since re-establishment of contacts at Head of Government level during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in July 2016. These high level exchanges are taking place after a gap of over three decades.He expressed confidence that the Kenyan President’s visit will expand and deepen cooperation between the two countries.

The President said trade is below potential and there is need for increasing and diversifying economic linkages. India welcomes efforts by the industry and business on both sides to pursue opportunities in healthcare, tourism, IT, agriculture, blue economy and energy.

Reciprocating the sentiments expressed by President Mukherjee, the Kenyan President lauded the role of the Indian community in Kenya whom he described as part and parcel of Kenyan society. He said the Indian community, encouraged by Prime Minister Nehru were an integral part of Kenya’s freedom struggle. He called for increased contacts at the highest level so that people and business leaders get inspired to take relations to a new level.

Subsequently, in his banquet speech, President Pranab Mukherjee said under Mr. Uhuru Kenyatta’s visionary leadership, Kenya has become one of the fastest growing economies of Eastern Africa. It has established itself as a hub for financial, commercial, tourist and transportation services. India remains committed to its developmental partnership with Kenya. India’s Technical and Economic Co-operation programme and training and scholarship initiatives under the India-Africa Forum Summit have benefited many young Kenyans. India stands ready to assist Kenya further in its human resource development and capacity building efforts.

The President said India recently organized the first-ever Festival of India in Kenya- Urafiki Utsav - which was well received. We look forward to hosting a Festival of Kenya in India. In the 21st century, India looks forward to working with Kenya to fulfill the many shared aspirations of our respective peoples and contribute to global peace and stability.

This release issued at 1410 hrs.