Kenyan President William Ruto bid farewell to Iranian Ambassador to Kenya, Jafar Barmaki, on November 2 at State House Mombasa.
During Jafar’s tenure, Kenya and Iran strengthened their bilateral relations, marked by the highest level of diplomatic engagement: the state visit by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in July.
As a testament to the warming relations, both nations signed five memorandums of understanding related to information technology, fisheries, livestock products, and investment promotion.
In a press briefing following his meeting with President Ruto, Ebrahim Raisi expressed his eagerness to boost commercial ties with African countries, emphasizing the untapped potential of the continent.
Ruto, facing challenges at home with mounting debt and rising living costs, sought Raisi’s commitment to facilitate the export of Kenyan tea, meat, and agricultural products to Iran and onward to Central Asian countries.
Iran has intensified its diplomatic outreach to developing countries since the US, under then-President Donald Trump, withdrew from the nuclear pact in 2018 and reinstated sanctions.
Raisi’s visit to Kenya was part of a broader strategy to strengthen relations with African allies, especially those grappling with US sanctions, as demonstrated by his visits to Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua earlier this year.
The Iranian diplomat gifted Ruto a handmade rug during their meeting.
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