President Uhuru Kenyatta has committed to fostering peace in the transition period following his meeting with a delegation of US legislators led by Senator Chris Coons on Thursday.
The delegation also met with President-elect William Ruto and his rival Raila Odinga at separate meetings in Nairobi.
President Kenyatta said the country would “remain steadfast in entrenching the principles of good governance to ensure the country upholds its position of a shining example of democracy in the continent by maintaining peace during this transition period.”
The US lawmakers applauded Mr. Kenyatta’s leadership for ensuring peace and stability during the election period.
“My greatest desire is that peace will prevail and we may set an example in the continent and the world,” President Kenyatta said in a statement after the meeting.
The delegation earlier met with Dr. Ruto alongside core principles in his Kenya Kwanza Alliance and discussed “US-Kenya strategic partnership, promotion of peace and ways to strengthen both economies.”
“We commit to deepen relations and further partnerships for the mutual benefit of the citizens of our two countries,” Dr. Ruto tweeted after the meeting.
The US delegation when they met President-elect William Ruto and his team
The delegation, which landed in the country on Wednesday night, also met Raila Odinga, who came second in the recently concluded general election, whose results he has rejected. They discussed developments in the polls and “shared democratic values.”
Mr. Odinga, accompanied by his running mate Martha Karua and Kisumu Governor Prof Anyang Nyongo, said they reiterated their “commitment to pursuing legal means to resolve issues around the election results.”
Mr. Odinga has disputed the results of the elections in which he garnered 48.85 percent of the valid votes against DP Ruto’s 50.49 percent. They had earlier said they would challenge the outcome through constitutional means.
The US delegation when they met Azimio la Umoja One Kenya leader Raila Odinga and his team
Mr. Coons was instrumental in the famous 2018’ handshake’ between President Kenyatta and his then political foe, Mr. Odinga, which brought a ‘ceasefire’ during Kenyatta’s last term. President Kenyatta subsequently endorsed Mr. Odinga to succeed him.
Mr. Coons is a member of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and is currently leading a congressional trip to Africa that constitutes two other senators and three US House of Representatives members.
The delegation has already visited Cape Verde and Mozambique. After Kenya, the team heads to Rwanda a week following US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken’s visit for talks on the tensions with the Democratic Republic of Congo.