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Kenya and Jordan Pursue close Parliamentary Cooperation in a bid Enhance Bilateral Relations

Kenya and Jordan are set to establish close parliamentary collaboration in an effort to enhance the flourishing relations between the two countries which have are also collaborating on the war against violent extremism and terrorism which has hard hit their respective regions.

This cooperation to be spearheaded by their relevant Committees on Foreign Affairs in appreciation of the distinct role of their legislatures for the ratification of  international agreements and treaties, is expected to promote the adoption of best practices from the two legislative jurisdictions. Speaker Muturi has since extended invitations to the two Speakers to visit Nairobi in a bid to cement these relations.

The Speaker of the National Assembly Hon.Justin Muturi yesterday acceded to calls from his colleagues in Amman for the establishment of relations between Jordan Parliament and the National Assembly of Kenya, and for closer cooperation both at the bilateral level and during their engagements at the international fora.

While acknowledging that the two countries have taken similar political stands on international matters, Speaker Muturi further undertook to take effective steps towards the development of a framework for the exchange of expertise through Parliamentary engagements between the two legislatures.

He was speaking when he held bilateral talks with the Speaker of Jordan's House of Representatives, H.E. Eng. Atef Al Tarawneh, and later with the President of the Senate, H.E. Mr. Faisal Alfayez.

"We welcome this aspect of Parliamentary cooperation. Indeed, the understanding between Parliaments promotes the collaboration between the two countries that are collaborating", Speaker Muturi noted.

Speaker Muturi further extended an invitation to Jordanian investors to invest in Kenya noting that Kenya's Parliament had already made the necessary legislative interventions for a favourable regulatory framework towards the development of Special Economic Zones as well as Export Processing Zones. Already, the two respective chambers of Commerce have established links and expressed their interest for future engagement.

During his engagements with the two Speakers, and on the sidelines, with the Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives,  Speaker Muturi and his delegation also deliberated on the enhancement of the already developed cooperation in trade, tourism and Security.

On the efforts to combat terrorism which also formed a large part of their discussions, the leaders noted that their two countries had been victims of extremism and terrorism during several attacks that have taken place in the last few years, with the Dusit hotel complex attack in January 2019, being the most recent one in Kenya.

With regard to this attack, Speaker Tarawneh expressed his sympathies with the victims of the attack and reiterated his county's commitment to continued support to the war against extremism and the annihilation of terrorism in both countries. Kenya and Jordan have an existing agreement on military cooperation and intelligence sharing.

Speaker Tarawneh observed that Kenya is a genuine partner in the fight against terrorism, adding that a strong stand needs to be taken by the international community with regard to this menace.

Cognisant that Kenya and Jordan have largely been Islands of peace in the midst of porous regions, he further called on Kenya's political support towards the Two Party State UN resolution which calls for the establishment of the Palestine State. Jordan currently hosts over 4.5 million refugees from Palestine and Syria.

On this, Speaker Muturi was emphatic that Kenya's philosophy since independence has been pro peaceful co-existence between countries adding that states should uphold the territorial integrity of others to enhance global peace and security. He further also informed him that Kenya advocates for tolerance, herself being a multi-cultural and multi-religious state where every citizen is at liberty to practise whatever faith they may wish.

At the Senate, the House President, H.E. Mr. Faisal Alfayez congratulated Kenya on her first shipment of crude oil yesterday, and hoped that further cooperation could be cultivated in this sector given that Jordan is a net importer of oil. 

He however called on Kenya to explore the consideration for a Bilateral Air Service Agreement, so as to not only enhance their respective people's interactions (and hence contribute to the growth of tourism between Kenya and Jordan) but to also enhance trade. Kenya's top imports to Amman, include coffee and tea. The two countries already have  agreements and Memorandum of Understanding on importation of coffee, MOU between the their Chambers of Commerce, cooperation on Defense, and an economic and trade agreement. Further, Kenyans visiting Jordan can get visas on arrival.

Speaker Muturi is in Amman , Jordan on a 3-day visit on the invitation of Speaker Tarawneh. He is scheduled to meet the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates; H.E. Mr. Ayman Safadi and his counterpart for Political and Parliamentary Affairs, H.E. Dr. Mousa Masytah, this morning.

He's accompanied by the Members of the House Presidium; Deputy Speaker, Hon. Moses Cheboi, Panel Members, Hon. Soipan Tuya, Hon. Patrick Mariru, Hon. Jessica Mbalu, Hon. Chris Omulele, Deputy Clerk, Ms. Sarah Kioko and Kenya's Embassy Officials based in Cairo, Egypt.

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