HC Deb 12 February 1997 vol 290 c328
7. Mr. Butler

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on relations between the United Kingdom and Kenya. [13960]

Dr. Liam Fox

We have long-standing and deep-rooted links with Kenya, which is one of our most significant partners in Africa. The bilateral relationship spans wide-ranging areas of activity, many of which are outside the framework of Government contacts. We maintain a close dialogue with the Kenyan authorities on a wide range of issues.

Mr. Butler

Will my hon. Friend join me in welcoming the development of the East African Community involving Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda? What efforts is the Foreign Office making to ensure that that operation is a success?

Dr. Fox

Yes, it is a rare delight to give the House good news about east Africa. We are convinced that the revival of the EAC signals a fundamental shift towards a closer relationship between the three countries. That is an essential step towards creating mutual confidence, which I believe will improve the political situation no end in east Africa. Under our development division in east Africa, the Overseas Development Administration has agreed to assist the EAC secretariat to develop new management systems—to which it attaches a high priority—through the provision of technical assistance.

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