Kenya, Somalia Set for JCC Talks in Mogadishu After Border Reopening

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Nairobi — Kenya and Somalia on Friday agreed to convene Joint Commission for Co-operation (JCC) talks in Mogadishu after the leaders of the two nations ordered the immediate reopening of the Kenya-Somalia border.

The JCC talks to be headed by foreign affairs officials of respective countries in August will seek to revitalize cooperation between the two countries whose relations had strained in recent years over disagreements on several issues including the status of Somaliland, a de facto state in the Horn of Africa seeking international recognition as an independent nation.

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The talks will cover joint security activities, defense, agriculture, trade, intelligence exchange, health, education, training in various fields, and continuous review of the visa regime, a joint communique signed by Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Amb Macharia Kamua and his Somali counterpart Amb Mohamed Ali — Nur Hagi, indicated.

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As part of the roadmap to revive cooperation, President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somalian counterpart Hassan Sheikh Mohamud also agreed on the resumption of Kenya Airways flights to Mogadishu under an existing bilateral framework pending review.

“The two Presidents further agreed that the Kenya Airways (KQ) scheduled flights to Mogadishu will resume immediately based on the existing Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA). The BASA will be reviewed by the relevant Authorities,” the communique noted.

The two leaders noted the resumption of flights together with the opening of borders will “ease the movement of people and enhance trade in goods and services.”