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Trump's call to Kenyan President focuses on al-Shabaab and closer cooperation

World News

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke with US President Donald Trump via telephone on Tuesday evening, the Presidency has confirmed.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta spoke with US President Donald Trump via telephone on Tuesday evening, the Presidency has confirmed.

Trump affirmed bilateral relations between the two countries and also lauded Kenya’s regional efforts especially in the area of fighting the al-Shabaab insurgents who continue to threaten the Horn of Africa’s peace.

This is Trump’s fourth phone chat with an African leader. Weeks ago he spoke to President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and Jacob Zuma of South Africa. Before the two he had spoken to Egypt’s Abdel Fatteh Al-Sisi, according to Egyptian media reports.

A readout of the call released by the White House read in parts, “The two leaders discussed our economic partnership and mutual dedication to overcoming terrorism and other regional security challenges through close cooperation.

‘‘The two leaders also discussed ways to boost bilateral trade and investment in Kenya and the broader East Africa region.”

Al-Shabaab becomes the second Africa based terrorist group Trump’s government has committed to helping combat. In his chat with Buhari, he stated the readiness of the US to help in the fight against Boko Haram.

Trump has now spoken to an African leader from four regions of the continent. Southern Africa (Zuma), West Africa (Buhari), North Africa (Al Sisi) and East Africa (Kenyatta). He is yet to meet an African leader since taking office.

The Trump government has however been ruffling feathers on the continent. His two travel bans have affected three African countries – Libya, Somalia and Sudan. It also remains to be known when he will undertake a visit to Africa.