Romanian President Klaus Iohannis arrived in Kenya on Monday night, on the first leg of a tour to include four African countries. He is being accompanied by his wife Carmen Iohannis.
The visit aims to enhance Romania’s diplomatic, economic, and cultural relations in Africa. The country’s presidential administration announced that Iohannis also plans to stop in Tanzania, Cabo Verde, and Senegal between November 14 and 23.
According to the statement made last week, “these visits are aimed at resuming high-level political dialogue with these countries and reviving economic and sectoral relations in order to open and use new opportunities for cooperation in areas of mutual interest, including those related to solving global problems.”
Speaking at the State House in Nairobi on Tuesday, Iohannis said that “Kenya is an example of political stability and democratic transition in Eastern Africa. Moreover, [it is] the economic, financial, transformational and development hub for the entire region.” He also said the two nations have “joint topics of interest and similar positions towards current global concerns and challenges.”
Both countries signed four Memorandums of Understanding on environmental protection and climate change, sanitary, veterinary and food safety, agricultural research, and cooperation between Romanian diplomatic institutes and the Foreign Service Academy of Kenya.
Kenyan President William Ruto emphasized that both he and his counterpart recognized the relationship between Nairobi and Bucharest as friendly and longstanding.
Meanwhile, another former Soviet-bloc country, the Czech Republic, is reportedly trying to compete with Russia on the African arms market.
Jiri Hynek, the president and director of the Defence and Security Industry Association of the Czech Republic, told Reuters that “the best new markets are the African ones because they still use Soviet-era equipment but now want Western technology added to it… We call it the westernization of Soviet products.” He also believes that there is “increasing interest from new potential customers, who are looking to abandon Russian or Chinese equipment.”
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