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Sec. Rice's Remarks After Meeting with Kofi Annan

Remarks After Her Meeting with Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Nairobi, Kenya
February 18, 2008

SECRETARY RICE: Thank you very much. It’s really wonderful to see you. The Secretary General and I have had several discussions.

Last night, he spoke with President Bush who said that he was asking that I come to you because he wants to make very clear that the United States supports the efforts that Kofi Annan is engaged in here to help the Kenyan leadership to find a way out to the crisis and the stalemate in which it finds itself.

Because first and foremost, the Kenyan people expect their leaders to overcome their differences. They expect to have a government that can return to the business of governing. They expect a stable and an economically prosperous Kenya. And in fact, not only do the Kenyan people expect that but the continent has come to expect that of Kenya, and so does the international community.

And I just want to strongly affirm that in my discussions with the current Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon before I left Washington and in the discussions we’ve had with the AU Chairman Kikwete in Tanzania, and with my European colleagues, this is indeed a mission that is fully supported by the entire international community.

I look forward to my discussions today, first with President Kibaki, and then with Mr. Odinga, to say to them how important it is that they now take that last step. There has clearly been progress and that is in large part, I think, to the fact that these leaders of the Kenyan people who want to move forward, but also to your very great efforts, and the because of those efforts there has been progress. But an agreement really needs to be concluded. There needs to be a governance arrangement that will allow real power sharing; that will allow a coalition, a grand coalition, so that Kenya can be governed.

The election was a difficult, difficult circumstance for the people of Kenya and it is now very important that it will be examined in another forum to deal with the fact that that election did not produce an outcome that suited most Kenyans. And now the outcome has to be produced by negotiation and by good will.

So, I am looking forward to my discussions and will also say this— that the United States is a very good friend of Kenya, has been a good friend of Kenya and will continue to be a very good friend to Kenya. But we have to have to return to a Kenya that is stable, that has a legitimate government, that is able to really govern its people. And it can’t be business as usual. Kenya must overcome this political crisis with its government so that can the Kenyan people can gain the confidence necessary and therefore can move forward. So we will consult again before I leave.

Thank you very much.

Released on February 19, 2008


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