President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday [May 31, 2016] held talks with South Korean President Geun-hye who came to Kenya for a three-day visit. The South Korean leader arrived in Kenya on Monday [May 30, 2016] on the third leg of her visit through the African Continent.
The visit is aimed to boost business opportunities in Africa and also improve relations. President Geun-hye received a 21-gun salute and a military guard of honour.
President Uhuru Kenyatta speaking at State House Nairobi, said that South Korea’s relationship with Kenya started way back in the 1960s.
‘‘Your visit is significant as it also gives us the opportunity to reflect on prospects of our deep engagement between the two countries. Kenya and Korea established diplomatic relationship all the way back in 1964,’’ stated President Uhuru.
The Kenyan President also reiterated that Park’s visit to the country is a phenomenal one since when her father was the leader of South Korea; he travelled all the way to visit his father, the first Kenyan President, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta.
‘‘This visit is also very significant to me personally as a result of the close relationship between the late President Park and my father Jomo Kenyatta,’’ he recalled.
Her visit to Kenya marks the first state visit by a South Korean President in 34 years. Diplomatic ties were ignited in 1964 when Park’s late father, Park Chung-hee, and Mzee Jomo Kenyatta were both in power.
‘‘The last time the President of Korea visited Kenya was 34 years ago. This is my first visit to Kenya and it is very emotional,’’ President Geun-hye stated.
Park vowed to renew the friendly bilateral relationship between the two nations to realize the shared vision and mission of ushering in a future of mutual prosperity.
South Korea’s ambassador to Kenya Young Dae Kwon had indicated that the President was to travel with a delegation of more than 200 businessmen and government officials.
According to Kwon, bilateral agreements in security, health, agriculture, information technology, trade and culture will be signed.
In 2012, former South Korean Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik visited Kenya on a diplomatic tour where he held talks with the then President Mwai Kibaki and his Prime Minister Raila Odinga.