Remarks by President Biden and President Kenyatta of the Republic of Kenya Before Bilateral Meeting
3:13 P.M. EDT
PRESIDENT BIDEN: I’m happy to have the President of Kenya here, President Kenyatta. It’s an honor to welcome you to the White House, to the Oval Office. Good to see you again.
And, you know, the U.S.-Kenya strategic partnership is essential — we both, I think, believe is essential to addressing key regional and global challenges.
And I want to thank Kenya for your — thank you for your leadership in defending the peace, security, and democratic instincts of the region and your country. You’re doing a heck of a job.
And now you are — you know, Kenya is currently the President of the U.N. Security Council.
PRESIDENT KENYATTA: That’s right. That’s right.
PRESIDENT BIDEN: I mean, thanks for letting us stay in.
PRESIDENT KENYATTA: (Laughs.)
PRESIDENT BIDEN: But all kidding aside, thank you. Thank you very much.
And we’re continuing our shared fight against COVID. The United States has donated 2.8 million doses of vaccine to Kenya as part of the 50 million doses we’ve donated to the African Union.
And I’m proud to announce that — today, that we’re making an additional historic one-time donation of 17 more million doses of J&J vaccine to the AU, and we’re going to be sending some more of these by the end of the year to Kenya.
And today we’re going to discuss what more Kenya and the United States can do together on the Horn of Africa to advance peace and security.
And we’re also going to talk about strengthening the financial transparency and accelerating economic growth. You’ve spoken to that, Mr. President; I want to talk to you about that. And the fight against climate change.
So, our nations share a deep commitment to fairness and to respect and equity. And I’m committed to further elevating our ties with Kenya and nations across Africa as a whole. But Kenya is key to this.
So, welcome, Mr. President. And I’m delighted to have you here.
PRESIDENT KENYATTA: Thank you very much, Mr. President. And let me once again say it’s a great pleasure to see you once again.
I don’t know whether many will recall, but President Biden, in a former life, visited Kenya where we had an opportunity to meet when he was Vice President, when he’d come over — again, on issues related to strengthening the partnership and the relationship between our two countries. And it’s really a great pleasure and honor to see you again.
Let me also take this opportunity, through you, to thank your government and the people of the United States. During this very difficult time, the United States has done its best to step up in terms of not only helping Kenya, but the African continent in general, with regard to access to vaccines.
I’m happy to hear your new announcement of that increase, because as many of you will know, as a continent, we are lagging well behind the rest of the world in terms of being able to vaccinate our people.
So, any additional support, like the President has just mentioned, is greatly welcomed, and we look forward to that continued partnership.
We’re also very closely partnering, especially in regard to the fight against terrorism globally. The United States has been a very strong partner to Kenya in that particular fight. And this is an area, again, I’m hoping to have an opportunity to further discuss with the President.
We are also keenly very grateful with his strong position, especially with regard to climate change. This is an area where Kenya has made tremendous progress in her own right and where we are firmly committed to the Paris Agreement, and we’re glad to see the United States has now rejoined.
And we look forward to working very closely together on that particular agenda, which, as you know, our country, our continent is the least in terms of emitting but pays the highest price. So, we welcome your leadership in this area, and I look forward to having the opportunity to discuss that further with you.
Keenly also wanting to engage, as we have been already, with the President on the issue of trade and investment between our two countries. This, I believe, is vital not only in terms of further entrenching American interests on the continent, but also in helping us also achieve our social-economic agenda. So that’s another agenda that we are also going to be engaged in.
So, Mr. President, let me just say it’s wonderful to see you again. It’s wonderful to be back here. And I look forward to fruitful deliberations as we move forward.
PRESIDENT BIDEN: So do I. Thank you.
Thank you all.
3:19 P.M. EDT