Obama reaches out to Uhuru and pledges support
President Elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his Deputy William Ruto meets with
the United States of America Ambassador HE. Mr Robert Godec at Kenyatta
International Conference Centre Nairobi.
NATION MEDIA GROUP
Saturday, April 06, 2013
US President Barack Obama on Friday finally congratulated
president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto following
their election victory on March 4.
President Obama’s personal message, delivered to
Mr Kenyatta and Mr Ruto at their makeshift offices at the Kenyatta
International Convention Centre in Nairobi by US ambassador to Kenya
Robert Godec, indicates that America will be willing to work with the
two leaders despite the charges of crimes against humanity facing them
before the International Criminal Court.
The US joined other world powers to officially
recognise President-elect Kenyatta and Deputy President-elect Ruto who
will be sworn into office next Tuesday. Others are Britain, France,
Germany and the EU.
China was the first major power to recognise Mr
Kenyatta and Mr Ruto, sending a congratulatory message even as
presidential petitions challenging their election were headed to the
The court upheld their election in its judgment on March 9.
On Friday, the Presidential Press Services
released a statement quoting President Obama as saying the election and
the peaceful adjudication of dispute were testaments to the progress
Kenya has made in strengthening its democratic institutions.
“Now that your election has been confirmed, you
have the opportunity to build on the promise of Kenya’s Constitution and
solidify its place as a vibrant and prosperous democracy centered on
the rule of law,” President Obama said.
President Obama said since Kenya’s independence in
1963, the United States and Kenya have been strong partners united by a
shared commitment to democracy, security and opportunity.
“Together we have faced many problems and solved
many challenges and our cooperation has benefitted both of our peoples”
During the meeting with Mr Godec, President-elect
Kenyatta said Kenya regarded the US as a valuable development partner
and ally in addressing regional challenges especially terrorism,
insecurity, money laundering and piracy.
The President-elect said he looked forward to
strengthening ties and cooperation between Kenya and the US for the
mutual benefit of the two countries.
Mr Kenyatta expressed his government’s commitment
to nurturing a philosophy of constructive engagements in which
diplomatic contacts would be between the democratically elected leaders.
He further emphasised that his government looked
forward to continued cooperation with the US and the international
community in general in the consolidation of peace in Somalia in order
to ensure the country does not become a breeding and training ground for
terrorists who pose a security threat to Kenya, the region and the
world at large.
President-elect Kenyatta said his immediate
priority was to unite Kenyans and expressed the hope that the US and
other development partners would support his government.
In attendance during the talks were outgoing
Foreign Affairs Minister Prof Sam Ongeri, Permanent Secretaries Thuita
Mwangi and Mutea Iringo among senior government officials.
President Obama’s personal congratulatory message
follows an earlier a statement signed by White House press secretary Jay
Carney “on behalf of the President and the people of the United States”
and released soon after the Supreme Court judgment.
“We congratulate Uhuru Kenyatta on his election as
president of Kenya. We also congratulate the people of Kenya on the
peaceful conduct of the election and commend Raila Odinga for accepting
the Supreme Court’s decision,” Mr Carney said in a statement.
“We urge all Kenyans to peacefully accept the
results of the election. The electoral process and the peaceful
adjudication of disputes in the Kenyan legal system are testaments to
the progress Kenya has made in strengthening its democratic
institutions, and the desire of the Kenyan people to move their country
However, Mr Carney expressed hopes that the two leaders who face
charges against crimes of humanity arising from the 2007/2008 post
election violence will cooperate with the international criminal court.
“Kenya is an important member of the international
community. We welcome and wish to underscore the importance of Kenya’s
commitment to uphold its international obligations, including those with
respect to international justice,” he said.