Tuesday, March 12, 2013
The United States and the United Nations said separately on
Monday that they are taking a cautious approach regarding their
respective relations with Kenya's president - elect Uhuru Kenyatta.
Spokespersons indicated that their earlier
omission of specific congratulations to Mr Kenyatta on his tentative
election as president should not necessarily be interpreted as an
indication of a shift in relations with Kenya.
Secretary of State John Kerry issued a written
statement on Saturday congratulating Kenyans on the peaceful polling and
offering congratulations to "all those elected to office."
Asked at Monday's State Department press briefing
whether the omission of Mr Kenyatta's name had been deliberate,
spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, "I wouldn't read too much into that
She noted that Prime Minister Raila Odinga has
challenged the results, and she added "so that process obviously needs
to move forward, and we’ll go from there."
In New York, a UN spokesman told the Nation
that the secretary-general typically withholds congratulations to a
newly elected national leader until that person has been inaugurated.
Like Mr Kerry, UN chief Ban Ki-moon had not
mentioned Mr Kenyatta in a statement on Saturday that commended Kenyans
on a peaceful election.
UN spokesman Martin Nesirky added on Monday that
the United Nations intends to maintain normal relations with Mr Kenyatta
and Deputy-President-Elect William Ruto as long as they continue to
cooperate with the International Criminal Court.
Mr Nesirky said UN protocol dictates that only
essential contacts can be made with a national leader who defies an ICC
That has occurred in the case of Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Mr Nesirky noted.