World Bulletin/News Desk
Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said Saturday that his country is ready to bolster joint cooperation with Kenya.
"China is ready to enhance its high-level exchanges with Kenya," Li told a joint press conference with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
"At the same time, we want to work with Kenya to boost out cooperation at all levels involving both public and private entities to enhance our investment and trade cooperation, bolster our cooperation in infrastructure, people to people exchange, culture, as well as human capacity building," he said.
On Saturday, Li, who arrived in Nairobi on Friday for a three-day visit, held talks with the Kenyan President on a host of issues, topped by the construction of a standard gauge railway in the east African country.
"Kenya and China's partnership in the development of the Standard Gauge Railway line will not only revolutionize the economy of our region, it will also reaffirm Kenya’s status as the region’s transport and economic hub," Kenyatta said.
Last year, the two countries agreed on loan instruments to aid in the building of the railway.
"I wish also to commend Your Excellency’s continued support and cooperation in our effort to combat and eventually eliminate the illegal trade in ivory as well as in our other initiatives to preserve our natural heritage," the Kenyan president said.
Kenyatta said that his talks with the Chinese Premier also focused on developments in Somalia and South Sudan.
"In both those cases, the help and support of China has been invaluable. We discussed how best we could build on these achievements going forward," he added.
On Friday, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, whose respective forces are engaged in fierce fighting, signed a peace deal to end the conflict that has raged in the nascent country since last December.
Somalia, meanwhile, has remained in the grip of on-again, off-again violence since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.
The Chinese premier, for his part, said that China will continue to help Kenya in upholding regional peace and stability.
"In our talks, China is also prepared to provide supplies of assistance, through Kenya for the repatriation of the Somali refugees," he said.
"China firmly supports the efforts of Kenya in safeguarding the states sovereignty and stability, developing the economy and improving peoples’ lives," he added.
"China will always be a true friend of Kenya and I believe with joint efforts, our friendship and Cooperation will continue to boom."
Li went on to underline the need to safeguard wildlife in Africa.
"To support Africa's effort in wildlife protection, the Chinese government has identified the protection of wildlife as one of the priority areas of the systems from China to African countries," he said.
"In the next few years, the Chinese government will contribute $10 million for that purpose; this is an important item on my agenda, from my visit to this country."
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