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Kenya, Tanzania agree to settle trade rows

President Uhuru Kenyatta and President John Pombe Magufuli have directed their ministers to meet quickly to resolve “small vexing” differences between Kenya and Tanzania.

The two met at Lake Victoria Resort of Munyonyo in the outskirts of the Ugandan capital Kampala on Friday, on the margins of a summit of the East African Community.

Kenya and Tanzania have been at odds over various trade and bilateral issues.

However, President Magufuli affirmed that as leaders, he and President Kenyatta had no issues.

“We only have small issues relating to businesses and traders between Kenya and Tanzania. We want ministers from the two countries to meet urgently and resolve these issues,” President Magufuli said.

Urgent attention

“These are small matters that should be resolved quickly. As leaders, we don’t have a problem. We are okay,” he added.

President Kenyatta said:  “These small matters require urgent attention.”

Kenya’s East Africa Cabinet Secretary Peter Munya and Foreign Affairs’ Monica Juma will agree on a meeting date with their Tanzanian counterparts to deal with the issues.

The presidents agreed that it was in the interest of both countries that Kenya and Tanzania prosper, because growth in one country guaranteed growth in the neighbour.

They also expressed their commitment to regional cooperation, and especially to smoother people-to-people relations, which is seen as critical to promoting booming bilateral trade. Both leaders will attend the 19th EAC Heads of State Summit in Kampala.

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