by Chrispinus Omar and David Musyoka
NAIROBI, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Kenya and Somalia on Thursday announced a raft of measures aimed at boosting trade and easing movements of people, goods and services.
Addressing a joint news conference after holding talks in Nairobi, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and visiting Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed resolved to open two border posts in Dobley-Liboi and Mandera-Bulahawa.
Kenyatta said the two countries also agreed to revitalize their engagement in all areas of mutual interests within the context of a reactivated joint commission of cooperation.
"We also agreed to meet regularly to monitor the progress of our bilateral relations," Kenyatta said, terming President Mohamed's visit a fresh start to the two countries' close ties.
Both Kenyatta and Mohammed directed their countries' security teams to meet immediately and agree on modalities of re-launching direct flights between Nairobi and Mogadishu within two weeks.
Kenyatta also said forthwith there would be no visa requirement for diplomatic and service passport holders between the two countries.
The two leaders also discussed Somalia's refugees issue with a view to help them return and rebuild their nation, a conversation that will continue at a regional special summit on Durable Solutions for Somalia Refugees that Kenya will host on Saturday.
Kenyatta said Kenya would establish a technical training institute for youths currently in refugee camps and its environs to enhance technical skills necessary for their rehabilitation upon return.
"If Somalia prospers, so does Kenya. If Somalia is peaceful, so is Kenya. It is up to us, then, to do all we can to help each other secure these goods for our people," Kenyatta said.
President Mohamed lauded Kenya as one of Somalia's strongest allies and partners in East Africa, hosting the largest number of Somali refugees for decades and contributing to the peace and stability of Somalia through the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
He said the authorization of the resumption of flights from Nairobi to Mogadishu by President Kenyatta ushers in a new beginning that will enhance development of trade and economic growth between the two countries.
"Our cooperation is indeed critical to our historic relations and our continuous efforts to fight insecurity and poverty," said Mohamed.
Mohamed who is visiting Kenya for the first time as a head of state said his government was ready to work with Nairobi to realize the full benefits of their economic cooperation.