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Jordan, Kenya agree to advance defence cooperation

King, Kenyan defence minister go over progress in anti-terror drive

By JT - Oct 10,2017 - Last updated at Oct 10,2017

His Majesty King Abduallah meets with Kenyan Defence Minister Raychelle Omamo in Amman on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of Royal Court)

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday received Kenyan Defence Minister Raychelle Omamo and discussed mechanisms to enhance cooperation between Jordan and Kenya, especially in the defence field, according to a Royal Court statement.

The meeting tackled regional and international efforts in the war on terror as part of a holistic strategy and was attended by Chief of Kenyan Defence Forces Gen. Samson Mwathethe and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs-of-Staff Lt. Gen. Mahmoud Friehat.

Earlier on Tuesday, Friehat received the Kenyan military delegation headed by Omamo. 

The two sides discussed aspects of cooperation and ways to strengthen bilateral relations, in the interest of the armed forces of the two countries. 

King Abdullah visited Kenya last year and met with President Uhuru Kenyatta over means to enhance bilateral relations, while the two countries opened later diplomatic missions and started working on broader cooperation in various fields, mainly at the political, economic, investment, commercial, pharmaceutical industries and medical tourism levels.

In February this year, Jordan’s Ambassador to Kenya Suleiman Arabiyat on Saturday presented his credentials to President Kenyatta, and relations saw exchanged visits involving officials and businesspeople. 

As regional turmoil led to border closures and dwindling foreign trade, Jordan looked west to the African continents to open new markets for its products, while Kenya, according to officials, seeks to use Jordan as a gateway to enter the region’s markets, apart from cooperation in the anti-terror fight.  

Minister of Industry, Trade and Supply Yarub Qudah has said that the difficult regional circumstances, such as the Syrian and Iraqi crises, have affected Jordan’s traditional export markets, making it necessary to search for new partners, Qudah said, adding that the “promising” African market was one of the choices.

 

The two countries are expected to sign a free trade agreement before the end of the year, Qudah announced in March, explaining that the deal would also provide incentives to help Jordanian items compete in the targeted market.

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