In Summary
  • “We were consulted all along the way in the planning” for the summit, Ms Mohamed told the Nation on the sidelines of a “Doing Business in Kenya” conference in the US capital city. “It was a very inclusive approach.”
  • Attracting more American investment in Kenya will be another objective of Mr Kenyatta's first visit to the US as head of state, the minister said.
  • “We are looking at how we can be more pro-active in countering acts of terror,” the assistant secretary added.

US President Obama will not meet individually with President Kenyatta or any of the 50 other African leaders expected to attend a White House summit next month, a State Department official said on Wednesday.

Choosing just a few of the visitors to hold one-to-one talks with Mr Obama would be “a very difficult decision,” Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield said in a teleconference with reporters.

Instead of holding selective discussions, Mr Obama intends to spend “a tremendous amount of quality time” with all the heads of state taking part in the August 6 summit, Ms Thomas-Greenfield added.

The US president plans to take part in each of the three summit sessions in addition to hosting an August 5 White House dinner for the African leaders and their spouses, she noted.

Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed said in an interview in Washington on Wednesday that the decision to forgo a Kenyatta-Obama meeting comes as no surprise.

SECURITY COOPERATION

“We were consulted all along the way in the planning” for the summit, Ms Mohamed told the Nation on the sidelines of a “Doing Business in Kenya” conference in the US capital city. “It was a very inclusive approach.”

She noted that President Kenyatta will be able to hold talks in Washington with many other African leaders while also focusing on three key elements in Kenya's relationship with the US.

Enhanced cooperation with the US on security matters is Kenya's top priority, Ms Mohamed said, adding, “We want to take it to another level.”

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