Diplomatic Relations: The handshake symbolizes the strong diplomatic ties and cooperation between Ethiopia and Kenya.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, has arrived in the country for his inaugural State visit since President William Ruto assumed office.

Abiy’s previous visit to Kenya dates back to December 9, 2020, for an official engagement marking the launch of the One-Stop Border Post at Moyale in Marsabit.

His last formal visit to Kenya was in June 2018, where he and then-President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged to elevate their bilateral relations to strategic levels.

The main topics on the agenda for this visit are security and economic cooperation, with a specific emphasis on Ethiopia’s interest in leveraging Kenya’s Lamu Port for maritime access.

This recent visit signifies an improvement in relations between Nairobi and Addis Ababa, presenting fresh opportunities to explore collaborative ventures within the region.

Kenya and Ethiopia have a longstanding 60-year-old defense agreement, rooted in the friendship between Jomo Kenyatta and Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.

Prime Cabinet Secretary Musalia Mudavadi, representing the government, concluded significant cooperation agreements across seven sectors during his visit to Ethiopia on February 22.

These agreements spanned areas such as tourism, wildlife, culture, blue economy, petroleum, correctional services, and capacity building in public service.

The accords were reached during the 36th Joint Ministerial Commission meeting held in Addis Ababa.

“I’m excited about the vast potential to strengthen the amicable relations between our nations across economic, social, security, and foreign affairs domains,” stated Mudavadi.

In addition to reinforcing the burgeoning bilateral ties during Abiy’s visit, Ruto is expected to use the occasion to advocate for Ethiopia’s endorsement of Azimio leader Raila Odinga’s candidacy for the AU chairmanship.

The President has taken on a central role in ensuring the victory of his former political adversary for the AU’s top position, signaling his departure from the local political arena.

Following Raila’s announcement of his candidacy on February 15, he has garnered support not only from Ruto and his Azimio faction but also from regional leaders.

Among them is former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, who endorsed the Opposition chief as the most suitable candidate for the role.

Ruto also stood in solidarity with Raila during their visit to Uganda on Monday, where their host, Yoweri Museveni, endorsed Ruto’s candidacy for the AU chairmanship ahead of the upcoming polls scheduled for 2015 during the next AU Summit.

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