Defence ministry confirmed the signing ceremony will take place at the Defence Headquarters in Nairobi, where CS Aden Duale will host his American counterpart Lloyd J. Austin III.
Kenya and the United States will sign a Defence Cooperation Agreement today aimed at strengthening counter-terrorism effort in furtherance of regional security interests .
The move is part of the efforts to further strengthen cooperation in defense and security amid escalating threats across the globe.
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Kenya’s Ministry of Defence confirmed the signing ceremony will take place at the Defence Headquarters in Nairobi, where Defence Cabinet Secretary Aden Duale will host his American counterpart Lloyd J. Austin III.
“The CS Defence (Kenya), Hon. Aden Duale and the US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J. Austin III, will sign a Defence Cooperation Agreement and thereafter hold a joint press conference,” MOD said on Saturday.
Kenya is a key US ally in the region, particularly in the joint efforts to combat terrorism, including the fight against Al-Shabaab, a Somalia-based Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group.
Austin’s visit to Kenya is part of his week-long tour of Africa, which also includes stops in Djibouti and Angola from September 23 to 28.
During his stay in Nairobi, Secretary Austin is scheduled to engage in discussions with Kenyan defense officials, with a primary focus on shared security interests and collaborative efforts in counterterrorism, an earlier statement from Department of Defense indicated.
The visit aims to strengthen the partnership between the US and Kenya in addressing regional security challenges.
While in Djibouti, Austin will meet with senior Djiboutian officials to deliberate on the existing military cooperation between the two nations.
The discussions will encompass regional security dynamics and the exploration of opportunities for deeper collaboration in the future.
The leg of the journey taking place in Luanda, Angola, will prioritize the development of stronger defense relations and the identification of avenues for increased military-to-military cooperation between the United States and Angola.
Secretary Austin’s itinerary also includes visits to U.S. military personnel stationed in Djibouti and Kenya.
The DoD said the interactions will serve as a testament to the Department’s appreciation for the dedication and service of these personnel in promoting peace and security within the region.
Austin’s visit to Kenya follows the U.S.-Kenya Bilateral Strategic Dialogue held in Washington, D.C., on April 24, 2023.
The U.S.-Kenya Strategic Partnership is grounded in mutual cooperation, respect, and a common vision for sustainable development.
The U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Alfred Mutua discussed strengthening the bilateral relationship across all five pillars of the Strategic Partnership and advancing peace and prosperity in Kenya, Africa, and beyond.
During the April event, the U.S. Department of State highlighted the commitment to implement instruments signed during the 2022 Bilateral Defense Forum, including a five-year security cooperation plan to enhance Kenya’s capabilities in countering violent extremist organizations and advancing regional security.
It also encompassed strengthening maritime surveillance, and bolstering Kenyan military academic institutions.
“The United States commended Kenya for its role in enhancing stability in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The United States will – in support of these peace efforts – seek to increase military aviation capabilities of the Kenya Defence Forces,” read the statement released US Department of State Office of the Spokesperson.
The two governments committed to increase Kenya’s capabilities at the Kenyan Military Airfield in Manda Bay to counter Al-Shabaab and support the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia.
The US committed to completing the $5 million Counter Insurgency, Terrorism, and Stability Operations Center.