The United States and Kenya held the inaugural Bilateral Strategic Dialogue in Washington, D.C. on May 7-8. President Donald J. Trump and President Uhuru M. Kenyatta established the Dialogue at the White House on August 27, 2018, when they elevated the bilateral relationship to a Strategic Partnership. As democracies committed to a rules-based order, the Strategic Partnership is grounded in shared values, mutual cooperation, and a common vision for free, open, and secure societies.
The event was preceded by the signing of the Bilateral Strategic Dialogue Framework by Deputy Secretary of State John J. Sullivan and Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ambassador Monica Juma. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor P. Nagy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs Political and Diplomatic Secretary Ambassador Tom Amolo co-chaired the two-day interagency discussions.
Building on the inaugural U.S.-Kenya Trade and Investment Working Group meeting held in Washington, D.C. on April 3-8, the two countries committed to deepen economic ties, maximize Kenya’s use of trade benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act, and explore a future bilateral trade and investment framework. The United States and Kenya agreed to accelerate bilateral talks to expand cargo opportunities under the U.S.-Kenya Open Skies agreement. The two sides highlighted that the U.S. Trade and Development Agency announced two projects to help U.S. companies offer solutions to support economic prosperity in Kenya, including an Emergency Management Reverse Trade Mission and a Global Procurement Initiative Orientation visit.
They committed to continue discussions on proposed U.S. private sector infrastructure development in Kenya, including modernizing the Kenyan government’s telecommunications network. The United States applauded Kenya’s commitment to establish a National Public Health Institute.
On the subject of defense cooperation, the United States commended the sacrifice of Kenya Defence Forces in Somalia. Both sides committed to enhance counterterrorism, defense, and maritime surveillance security cooperation through intelligence sharing and capacity building. The two governments reaffirmed their commitment to degrade al-Shabaab and agreed to work with UN Security Council partners to sanction al-Shabaab and other terror groups operating in the Horn of Africa.
The United States commended the establishment of the Kenya Coast Guard Service to harness the Blue Economy and safeguard a free, open, and prosperous Indian Ocean region. The United States welcomed Kenya’s interest in hosting a future Cutlass Express regional maritime security exercise and agreed to broaden strategic cooperation in the Indian Ocean Rim Association.
The United States and Kenya signed an updated Security Governance Joint Country Action Plan to enhance bilateral cooperation on civilian security, governance, and anti-corruption efforts. The United States welcomed Kenya’s commitment to register all refugees and will work with Kenya to fulfill its commitments to ensure refugees have access to healthcare, education, and livelihoods.
Both countries reaffirmed their commitment to the ongoing United Nations reforms led by the UN Secretary General.
The United States and Kenya welcomed the Peace Corps assessing the potential for resuming operations in Kenya.
The United States and Kenya look forward to the second Bilateral Strategic Dialogue in Nairobi in 2020.