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US and Kenyan defence ministers highlight importance of security partnership

US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Kenya's Defence Minister Aden Duale   -  
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Susan Walsh/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.


United States Secretary of Defence, Lloyd Austin, highlighted the "important security" partnership the US and Kenya share as he met with his Kenyan counterpart, Aden Bare Duale at the Pentagon on Wednesday.

The meeting follows the signing last September of a five-year framework on defence cooperation between the two countries.

"That just underscores that Kenya has long been one of our most important security partners in Africa. Kenya is a key strategic partner in tackling a range of shared threats and advancing security in East Africa and beyond," said Austin.

He added that Nairobi’s support and partnership in the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia was critical to stability in the region, and is its “sustained commitment to countering al-Shabaab".

The Islamist militant group has been responsible for multiple attacks in Kenya, including the 2013 Westgate shopping mall incident in Nairobi in which 67 people died.

Duale echoed Austin's praise for their cooperation on regional peace and security, and said the relationship between the two countries was "based on the principle of mutual trust, respect, shared values, and common defence objectives".

“Let me state that Kenya's stability and strategic location in a volatile region have continued to present ideal opportunities for partnership with the US in order to promote peace and stability in the region,” he said.

They also discussed how the two countries can work more together, while Duale pledged Kenya’s continuing support for US-led initiatives to strengthen security in the Red Sea and for Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

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