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Presidents jet in for security talks

Tuesday July 30 2013

Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ms Amina Mohammed.  She said peace and security would be  key agenda in the negotiations to boost trade.

Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ms Amina Mohammed. She said peace and security would be key agenda in the negotiations to boost trade. NATION MEDIA GROUP

By NATION CORRESPONDENT

Eleven Heads of State are expected in Nairobi Wednesday for talks on regional security and trade.

A report by the region’s inter-ministerial committee will be tabled for adoption during the meeting.

The report focuses on the implementation of an agreement on peace, security and development in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes region.

Trade boost

International Conference on the Great Lakes Region chairman Yoweri Museveni is expected to attend alongside AU chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma and their host President Kenyatta at UN headquarters in Gigiri, Nairobi.

Peace and security have dominated the closed door meetings which kicked off over the weekend.

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In an interview with the Nation, Foreign affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed said peace and security would be key agenda in the negotiations to boost trade.

“Peace and security are key especially in Somalia, Sudan and the DRC. When we have the two, trade becomes easy same to the movement of goods and services especially within the great lakes countries,” said Mrs Mohammed.

Kenya has also lobbied for the repatriation of Somali refugees and campaigned for a seat at the UN Security Council.

A diplomat at the Foreign Affairs ministry said the hosting of Somali refugees has become an unbearable “burden” and that the government would lobby for the region to take a common stand on the issue.

“It is in Kenya’s interest that we don’t have regional conflicts because we are a trading nation,” Mr Ken Vitisia, the Director of the Office of the Great Lakes Region at the ministry, said.