Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Kenya pledges to help rebuild Libya

Supporters of Libya’s rebels shout slogans against besieged leader Muammar Gaddafi in the capital Tripoli late August 23, 2011 as rebels said they had sent more fighters and weaponry by sea to the capital from their coastal enclave of Misrata, about 200 kilometres  further east. PHOTO /  AFP

Supporters of Libya’s rebels shout slogans against besieged leader Muammar Gaddafi in the capital Tripoli late August 23, 2011 as rebels said they had sent more fighters and weaponry by sea to the capital from their coastal enclave of Misrata, about 200 kilometres further east. PHOTO / AFP  

By Benjamin Muindi bmuindi@ke.nationmedia.com

Kenya on Tuesday expressed willingness to work with Libya’s interim authorities in restoring the country.

Acting Foreign Affairs minister George Saitoti said Kenya would cooperate in restoring order, forging reconciliation and national cohesion, restoring infrastructure and reviving the economy.

“Kenya stands ready to work with the people of Libya, the African Union and the international community to help build a new Libya,” Prof Saitoti said in a statement on Tuesday evening.

He asked the interim authorities to establish political dialogue with both the AU and international community to help in the crafting of a new constitution and holding free and fair elections.

“With the impending collapse of the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, Kenya urges that all efforts be exerted for the early restoration of peace and stability in Libya,” he added.

“Consistent with the AU road map for Libya, Kenya has always believed that only a political solution will make it possible to fulfil the mutually reinforcing objectives of peace and democracy.”

Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs assistant minister Richard Onyonka has asked public officers posted in missions abroad to understand the country’s developmental blueprint to better represent the country.

Speaking at the start of a training for 51 officers to be posted in various missions, Mr Onyonka said Kenya’s foreign policy was placing greater emphasis on economic diplomacy.

Foreign policy

“Our foreign policy priorities seek to promote economic development and prosperity by increasing market access, capital inflow and advanced technological advancement,” he said.

He spoke at the Kenya Institute of Administration, Kabete, where the officers are to be trained.

At the same time, all Kenyans living in Libya have been brought home, according to Foreign Affairs permanent secretary Patrick Wamoto.

Mr Wamoto said Kenyans working in different parts of Libya and employees at the country’s mission in Tripoli had returned home.

“We had about 12 teachers who had remained in southern Libya when we evacuated other Kenyans but they arrived home about two weeks ago,” he said.

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