Tanzanian President John Magufuli was accorded full military honors upon arrival at the State House in Nairobi where he was received by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The Tanzanian leader is on a two-day official visit to Kenya which, happens to be his first visit since his election in October last year.
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Others present to welcome Magufuli include Deputy President William Ruto, Chief of Defence Forces General Samson Mwathethe and Cabinet Secretaries.
Magufuli first stopped by the mausoleum of Kenya’s founding father, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, where he laid a wreath before proceeding to State House.
He signed the distinguished visitors’ book before stepping in for a closed-door meeting with Uhuru.
The East African leaders are expected to hold talks on issues of mutual interest at the bilateral and regional level.
Speaking at a joint press conference at State House, Dr Magufuli dismissed claims that his administration was focusing on local issues by keeping off Kenyans. He insisted that the good relationship between the two countries that existed before will be maintained.
“We speak often with President Kenyatta on phone, but because phone calls don’t always get seen in public, some people don’t know, so today, I want to say that we have always been in touch.
“I have assured the President that Kenya is our number one partner in Africa – there are more Kenyan firms in Tanzania than any other African country.”
The Tanzanian President went on to add that Tanzania was open to Kenyans wishing to do business.
Magufuli’s administration has focused on eradicating corruption in Tanzania. He said his visit to Nairobi was to explain policies meant to make Tanzania a better investment destination.
“I have told President Kenyatta about the reality in Tanzania to enable it move forward. We want Tanzanians to pay taxes, fight corruption and enable the country to move forward.”
“I believe that if we go at that pace, we can reach the level where we believe we are taking our country to acceptable places.”
President Magufuli’s visit gives the two neighboring countries a chance to strengthen partnership in different areas as well as level out issues with each other.