Ronald Reagan picture

Remarks Following a Meeting With President Daniel Tarap Moi of Kenya

March 12, 1987

President Reagan. It has been my great pleasure to welcome and confer with an old friend and one of Africa's leading statesmen, President Daniel arap Moi of Kenya. Under President Moi's leadership, Kenya has enjoyed economic development and political stability. With an admirable sense of purpose, he has guided his people and country successfully through some very trying times. Probably no other nation in Africa, for example, handled the severe drought of 1984 as well as Kenya under President Moi's guiding hand. It was testimony of his competence and commitment.

I previously met President Moi when he visited the United States in 1981. Vice President Bush visited Kenya in 1982. And just recently, Secretary Shultz spent several days in that country. These top-level exchanges reflect the high value we place on our friendship. Over the years since independence, Kenya has been a success story, an example for all of Africa to follow. Internationally, it has been a moderate, wise, and constructive member of the family of nations. Bilaterally, our two countries have had exemplary relations. Our peoples share a commitment to the principles of representative government, private ownership, and individual freedom.

I personally look to President Moi as a friend and a trusted counselor on international issues, especially those concerning Africa. We've just completed a most productive 2-hour discussion which covered a full range of bilateral issues as well as a number of African and international items of mutual interest. We also discussed budget restraints in the United States and the implications for Kenya of overall reduced aid levels—how we could best cope with them and still meet our commitments to one of America's staunchest friends in Africa. We agreed on the urgent need to attract more foreign investment to Kenya and discussed ideas on how that could best be accomplished.

President Moi, during the course of the next few days, will be meeting with a host of government and private sector leaders. I'm happy to report that as he embarks on the remainder of this busy and important visit, U.S.-Kenya relations—building on a long history of mutual friendship and respect-are healthy and vibrant. We are honored and pleased to have you here, President Moi.

President Moi. Thank you very much. Ladies of the press and gentlemen of the press, in our meeting I explained to President Reagan that Kenya has invested in its future in freedom. We cherish democracy and the rule of law, as enshrined in our Constitution. Kenya has managed to establish a stable economic and political system that has worked well. Today Kenya is among the few African countries which have food surplus. We came to Washington to express our friendship and to strengthen our cooperation for the mutual benefit of our two countries. Kenya's proud of its cooperation with the United States of America. We invite American businessmen and industrialists to invest in Kenya's thriving economy. I assure you all that we have created the necessary infrastructure to absorb American investment.

Our discussions with President Reagan today covered many subjects, including the economic and political situation in eastern and southern Africa. We welcome the major initiative which you, Mr. President, have taken on the economic problems facing the continent of Africa. Kenya, in a modest way, has pursued the policy of giving incentives to farmers. And agriculture is assuming the highest priority it deserves. This is what has enabled us over the years to provide enough food to feed the increasing population.

In the course of our discussion, I reminded President Reagan that in South Africa the values of human dignity our two countries cherish are being abused daily. An end to apartheid is inevitable, and the sooner it comes, the less will be the bloodshed and violence. The world community, in general, and in Africa, in particular, look upon the United States for a deeper commitment to this cause. Thank you.

Note: President Reagan spoke at 1:30 p.m. at the South Portico of the White House. Earlier, the two Presidents met in the Oval Office. Following their meeting, they had lunch in the Residence.

Ronald Reagan, Remarks Following a Meeting With President Daniel Tarap Moi of Kenya Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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