By Ray Chickrie
PARAMARIBO, Suriname — Suriname’s president Desire Bouterse during his November 26 visit to Nairobi, “pledged” his support for Kenya’s bid for a non – permanent seat on the UN security council at the upcoming June election. The assurances were delivered to president of the Republic of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi, by Tanzania’s foreign affairs minister Palamagamba Kabudi and the president of Suriname Desire Delano Bouterse.
In a separate meeting, president Bouterse assured president Kenyatta of his country’s support for Kenya’s UN security council bid.
President Bouterse accompanied by first lady Ingrid Waldring Bouterse, thanked president Kenyatta for his visionary leadership said, “Kenya is an emerging regional economic giant.” The foreign minister of Suriname, the finance minister, a large group of government officials and the private sector were also part of the delegation.
“Besides Suriname’s support for Kenya’s UN security council bid, the two leaders discussed opportunities for deepening bilateral ties between the two countries through trade, investment and people-to-people exchanges,” the statement said.
Presidents Kenyatta and Bouterse identified environmental conservation, the blue economy and the Big-4-Agenda priority sectors of health, manufacturing, food security and housing as areas of mutual interest between Kenya and the South American nation.
” President Kenyatta, I am glad our two ministers (for foreign affairs) have initiated conversations that I believe will go a long way in strengthening our relations in these sectors,” the Suriname president told his host.
Kenyatta thanked president Bouterse for Suriname’s endorsement of Kenya’s UN security council bid saying, “our position and belief is that this seat is not for Kenya but for all of us who share the same vision. That we may present a united voice and make a difference.”
Suriname has taken an active role in the African Caribbean Pacific (ACP) group, will send a high-level delegation to Kenya for the upcoming ACP heads of government summit in Nairobi. Suriname also attended an ACP meeting in Kigali.
The two leaders also discussed the importance of the upcoming ACP conference to be held in Nairobi early next month said, “the meeting will help deepen relations between the Caribbean and the African continent.”