US to designate Kenya as ‘non-NATO ally’ during Ruto’s state visit

The United States plans to designate Kenya as the country’s first key non-NATO ally in sub-Saharan Africa as Kenyan President Willam Ruto makes a state visit to Washington, DC, to deepen ties between the two nations.

The White House said US President Joe Biden will inform Congress on Thursday that he will give Kenya the largely symbolic title.

Currently, the US has 18 countries designated as non-NATO allies, including Israel, Brazil and the Philippines.

Speaking at the White House on Thursday morning, Ruto said his trip to the US capital is “a sign of friendship and partnership and collaboration between two countries that share common values”, including freedom and democracy.

“Today we have an occasion to build synergies, to build partnerships, that will not only solve our current problems but also to build a future that is much more promising, much more prosperous,” the Kenyan president said.

Ruto’s visit to the US, which began earlier this week, will see the Kenyan leader hold talks with Biden at the White House later on Thursday.

The “non-NATO ally” label will reflect Kenya’s rise from a regional partner that has long cooperated with US counterterrorism operations on the continent to a global influence.

The Kenyan leader’s trip is the sixth state visit hosted by the Biden administration and the first for an African president since 2008.



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