December 3, 2021

News

News Network

Secretary Antony J. Blinken Remarks at Bilateral Strategic Dialogue with Kenyan Cabinet Secretary of Foreign Affairs Raychelle Omamo

22 min read

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

Nairobi, Kenya

Serena Hotel

FOREIGN SECRETARY OMAMO:  Well, may I begin by just extending to you again another warm welcome to Kenya.  We are so delighted to host you on your maiden visit to Africa in your capacity as Secretary of State.  We’re really greatly honored that you chose to start here, and I think that is an affirmation of the depth and the scope of the relationship that Kenya and the United States of America enjoy.

We are delighted that you have just been able to hold a meeting with His Excellency President Kenyatta and that you’ve discussed a variety of issues.  This meeting that we are going to hold will be more focused on our bilateral Strategic Dialogue and the pillars that hold up that dialogue.  It’s essential to us as a country that we continue to move forward on that agenda, to renew it, to reinvigorate it, especially in the aftermath of the COVID-19 challenge and the climate change challenge that we are all experiencing.

So we hope that your visit to Kenya will be a signal of the way forward for U.S.-Kenyan relationships and U.S.-Africa relationship.  There are important signposts to erect so that the whole world knows that the U.S. is indeed back, is indeed back and interested in the advancement of our continent, in the advancement of our peace and our prosperity, and in investment of the U.S. in our people.  So we look forward to the discussions that we will have with you in the next half hour or so, and we trust that this will now open the gates for further relationships to be established and for deeper consultation between our respective ministries.

I would like, before I give you the floor, just to introduce again the Kenyan delegation.  I have with me Principal Secretary Ambassador Kamau Macharia.  I also have in our delegation Dr. Kimani, Ambassador Dr. Kimani, who is our PR in New York; Ambassador Amayo, who is our ambassador to Washington; Ambassador Salim, who is our director general of multilateral affairs; Ambassador Nzusi, who is our director of America; and then our officer, Mr. Afande, who will be taking notes in the meeting.  So Karibu Sana, welcome, and you have the floor.

SECRETARY BLINKEN:  Thank you so much, and it’s really wonderful to be here, wonderful to be with you.  We’ve had the opportunity to see each other at different international meetings, on the – on video screen, by phone, but nothing replaces actually being here – I was going to say face to face, at least mask to mask.  (Laughter.)  So – and to your point, it really is no accident that I have the great honor of making this my first stop in Africa in my capacity as Secretary of State.  It is a testament to the importance that the United States, President Biden attaches to the partnership between Kenya and the United States, a partnership that we will continue to deepen and strengthen, including with the work that we’re doing together with the resumption of our Strategic Dialogue.  We’re very, very pleased with that.

And I was also very honored to have so much time with President Kenyatta.  We covered a tremendous amount of ground, and that too is a reflection of the breadth and depth of the relationship, the many issues that we’re working together.  And in so many ways, I think what we’ve seen is a relationship that is stronger and stronger on a bilateral basis, but also regionally where we’re doing so much work together, and around the world, including on climate where the example that Kenya has set is a very powerful one, particularly with your use of renewables to produce so much of your energy.  And so on all of the issues that we have before – we, like you, are committed to deepening the work that we’re doing together.

The bottom line for the United States is as we’re looking at the things that we’re trying to help advance around the world, we know we cannot do it without Africa and that means we cannot do it without Kenya.  And whether it is our common struggle against COVID-19, whether it’s our common fight to save our environment, save our planet, combating climate change, whether it’s building truly inclusive economic growth for all of our citizens, we have to do this hand in hand.  And beyond that, as two strong, vibrant democracies at a time when democracies are under some challenge, I think the example that both of us set is more important than ever.

So in all of these areas and more, it’s a pleasure to be here, and very happy to get down to work. Now, my team, I think you know most of them.  You certainly know this gentleman, Eric Kneedler, our charge d’affaires; Suzy George, the chief of staff of the State Department; Ned Price, the spokesperson for the State Department; and I think you may also know Gayle Smith, known to a few people here, who has been leading our international efforts on COVID, and we’re very, very grateful for that; Molly Phee, the assistant secretary of state for Africa; Tom Sullivan, who is a deputy chief of staff at the State Department; and Dana Banks, who is the lead on Africa at the White House National Security Council.  So thank you for having all of us.

FOREIGN SECRETARY OMAMO:  Thank you very, very much.

More from: Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State
More from Area Control Network
1. Global Warming Network
2. Christians Online
3. Put your website in the archives
4. Area Control Network News

News Network

  • Secretary Blinken’s Call with Canadian Foreign Minister Garneau
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Financial Audit: Office of Financial Stability’s (Troubled Asset Relief Program) FY 2021 and FY 2020 Financial Statements
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found GAO found (1) the Office of Financial Stability's (OFS) financial statements for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) as of and for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2021, and 2020, are presented fairly, in all material respects, in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles; (2) OFS maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting for TARP as of September 30, 2021; and (3) no reportable noncompliance for fiscal year 2021 with provisions of applicable laws, regulations, contracts, and grant agreements GAO tested. In commenting on a draft of this report, OFS stated that it is proud to receive an unmodified opinion on its financial statements and its internal control over financial reporting. OFS also stated that it is committed to maintaining the high standards and transparency reflected in these audit results. Why GAO Did This Study The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA) that authorized TARP on October 3, 2008, includes a provision for TARP, which is implemented by OFS, to annually prepare and submit to Congress and the public audited fiscal year financial statements that are prepared in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles. EESA further states that GAO shall audit TARP's financial statements annually. For more information, contact Cheryl E. Clark at (202) 512-3406 or clarkce@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Ex-law enforcement officer sent to prison for transporting purported drug money
    In Justice News
    A former deputy [Read More…]
  • United States Reaches Settlement with Federal Way Public Schools to Resolve Student Complaints of Harassment on the Basis of Religion and National Origin
    In Crime News
    Today the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington announced a settlement agreement with Federal Way Public Schools in Washington to resolve an investigation into allegations of peer-on-peer harassment on the basis of religion and national origin.
    [Read More…]
  • Aruba National Day
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • The Untold Coronavirus Story: How the Diplomatic Security Service Helped Evacuate Americans from China
    In Crime Control and Security News
    By Eric Weiner, DSS [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken Remarks at a Roundtable with Democracy Activists and Civil Society
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Man Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison for Attempting to Provide Material Support to ISIS and Attempting to Commit a Hate Crime
    In Crime News
    An Ohio man was sentenced today to 20 years in prison for attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), and attempting to commit a hate crime, for planning an attack on a synagogue in the Toledo, Ohio area.
    [Read More…]
  • Justice Department Announces Settlement with Ashley Home Store Over Discrimination Claims of Indiana Army National Guardsman
    In Crime News
    The Justice Department resolved Tuesday a lawsuit in which an Indiana Army National Guardsman, Captain Christopher Robbins, alleged that The Dufresne Spencer Group, a limited liability corporation doing business as Ashley Home Store, violated the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA). Captain Robbins specifically alleged that The Dufresne Spencer Group violated USERRA when it failed to promptly offer him re-employment after a period of active duty military service.
    [Read More…]
  • Local woman guilty of disaster fraud
    In Justice News
    A 46-year-old Houston [Read More…]
  • Secretary Blinken’s Meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister Jaishankar
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Office of the [Read More…]
  • Stabilizing Iraq: Factors Impeding the Development of Capable Iraqi Security Forces
    In U.S GAO News
    The National Strategy for Victory in Iraq articulates the desired end-state for U.S. operations in Iraq: a peaceful, united, stable, and secure Iraq, well integrated into the international community, and a full partner in the global war on terrorism. Developing capable Iraqi security forces is a critical component in U.S. efforts to achieve this important goal. Since 2003, the United States has provided $15.4 billion to develop Iraqi military and police forces. DOD has also asked for an additional $5.8 billion in its fiscal year 2007 supplemental request and fiscal year 2008 Global War on Terror budget request to continue U.S. efforts to develop Iraq forces and transition security responsibilities to them. This testimony discusses the (1) results of U.S. efforts to develop Iraqi security forces, and (2) factors that affect the development of effective Iraqi security forces. This testimony is based on GAO's issued reports and ongoing work on U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq. Although we reviewed both classified and unclassified documents, the information in this statement is based only on unclassified documents.As of February 2007, DOD reported that it had trained and equipped 327,000 Iraqi security forces--a substantial increase from the 142,000 reported in March 2005. The Iraqi security force level is double that of the 153,000-strong U.S.-led coalition currently in Iraq. While the Iraqi security forces are increasingly leading counterinsurgency operations in Iraq, they and the coalition have been unable to reduce the levels of violence throughout Iraq. Enemy-initiated attacks per day have increased from about 70 in January 2006 to about 160 in December 2006. Several factors affect the development of effective Iraqi security forces and help explain why the reported growth in Iraqi security forces has not decreased violence. First, the Iraqi security forces are not a single unified force with a primary mission of countering the insurgency in Iraq. About 40 percent of the Iraqi security forces have a primary mission of counterinsurgency--specifically, the Iraqi army. The other major component--the Iraqi police--has civilian law enforcement as its primary mission. Second, high rates of absenteeism and poor ministry reporting result in an overstatement of the number of Iraqi security forces present for duty. The Ministry of the Interior does not maintain standardized reports on personnel strength. As a result, DOD does not know how many coalition-trained police the ministry still employs or what percentage of the 180,000 police thought to be on the payroll are coalition trained and equipped. Third, sectarian and militia influences have divided the loyalties of Iraqi security forces. In November 2006, for example, the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency stated that the Ministry of Interior and the police were heavily infiltrated by militia members of the Badr Organization and Mahdi Army. According to the 2007 National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, sectarian divisions have eroded the dependability of many Iraqi army units. Fourth, as we previously reported, Iraqi units remain dependent upon the coalition for their logistical, command and control, and intelligence capabilities. As of December 2006, the coalition was providing significant levels of support to the Iraqi military, including fuel and ammunition. The extent of these problems cannot be fully assessed without detailed information on the readiness of each Iraqi unit. While DOD captures this information in its Transition Readiness Assessments (TRAs), it does not provide this critical information to Congress. These data provide information on capabilities and gaps in Iraqi units' manpower, equipment, and training levels, and as of late 2006, assess each unit's operational effectiveness. Congress needs this information to make informed appropriations decisions and engage in meaningful oversight. Despite repeated attempts over many months, we have yet to be provided the TRA information we are seeking.
    [Read More…]
  • Statement by Attorney General William P. Barr on the 19th Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks
    In Crime News
    Attorney General William [Read More…]
  • Secretary Antony J. Blinken to Embassy Iceland Staff and Families
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • The Art-tivist Movement in Cuba: One Year and No Dialogue
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Antony J. Blinken, [Read More…]
  • Medicaid: HHS’s Preliminary Analyses Offer Incomplete Picture of Behavioral Health Demonstration’s Effectiveness
    In U.S GAO News
    What GAO Found The Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 (PAMA) established the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHC) demonstration and tasked the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with its implementation. CCBHCs aim to improve the behavioral health services they provide, particularly for Medicaid beneficiaries. Initially established for a 2-year period, the demonstration has been extended by law a number of times; most recently, it was extended to September 2023. States participating in the demonstration can receive Medicaid payments, consistent with federal requirements, for CCBHC services provided to beneficiaries. PAMA also required HHS to assess the effect of the demonstration on service access, costs, and quality. HHS's preliminary assessments of the demonstration in eight states, with 66 participating CCBHCs, found the following: Access. CCBHCs commonly added services related to mental and behavioral health, such as medication-assisted treatment, and took actions to provide services outside the clinic setting, such as through telehealth. Costs. States' average payments to CCBHCs typically exceeded CCBHC costs for the first 2 years of the demonstration. CCBHC payments and costs were more closely aligned in the second year for most states, better reflecting the payment methods prescribed under the demonstration. Quality. States and CCBHCs took steps, such as implementing electronic health records systems, to report performance on 21 quality measures. GAO found data limitations complicated—and will continue to affect—HHS's efforts to assess the effectiveness of the demonstration. For example: Lack of baseline data. PAMA requires HHS to assess the quality of services provided by CCBHCs compared with non-participating areas or states. The demonstration marked the first time these clinics reported performance on quality measures, so no historical baseline data exist. HHS officials noted that with time, additional data may provide insight on the quality of services. Lack of comparison groups. PAMA requires HHS to compare CCBHCs' efforts to increase access and improve quality with non-participating clinics and states. HHS was unable to identify comparable clinics or states due to significant differences among the communities. Lack of detail on Medicaid encounters. PAMA requires HHS to assess the effect of the demonstration on federal and state costs and on Medicaid beneficiaries' access to services. HHS plans to use Medicaid claims and encounter data to assess such changes. However, GAO has previously identified concerns with the accuracy and completeness of Medicaid data and has made numerous recommendations aimed at improving their quality. HHS's decisions in implementing the demonstration also complicated its assessment efforts. HHS allowed states to identify different program goals and target populations, and to cover different services. HHS also did not require states to use standard billing codes and billing code modifiers it developed. The lack of standardization across states limited HHS's ability to assess changes in a uniform way. Why GAO Did This Study Behavioral health conditions—mental health issues and substance use disorders—affect millions of people. HHS estimates that 61 million adults had at least one behavioral health condition in 2019—41 million of whom did not receive any related treatment in the prior year. Many individuals with behavioral health conditions rely on community mental health centers for treatment, but the scope and quality of these services vary. To improve community-based behavioral health services, PAMA created the CCBHC demonstration and provided HHS with $25 million to support its implementation. PAMA directed HHS to assess the demonstration and to provide recommendations for its continuation, modification, or termination. To date, HHS has issued three annual reports assessing the initial demonstration period, which ran from 2017 to 2019. HHS plans to issue a fourth annual report and a final report by December 2021. This report describes HHS's assessment of the demonstration regarding access, costs, and quality. Under the CARES Act, GAO is to issue another report on states' experiences by September 2021. GAO reviewed federal laws and regulations; HHS guidance; and HHS's assessments of the demonstration, including three issued reports, interim reports, and the analysis plan for future reports. GAO also interviewed HHS officials and officials from organizations familiar with community health clinics. HHS provided technical comments, which GAO incorporated as appropriate. For more information, contact Carolyn L. Yocom (202) 512-7114 or yocomc@gao.gov.
    [Read More…]
  • Contract Security Guards: Army’s Guard Program Requires Greater Oversight and Reassessment of Acquisition Approach
    In U.S GAO News
    Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, increased security requirements and a significant number of active duty and reserve personnel sent overseas to support the war on terror left the Department of Defense (DOD) with fewer military personnel to rely on to protect domestic installations. To correct this shortage, Congress is temporarily allowing DOD to use contract security guards to fulfill roles previously performed by military employees. The U.S. Army has awarded contracts worth nearly $733 million to acquire contract guards at 57 Army installations, an investment far greater than those made by other DOD services so far. The requesters asked GAO to assess how the Army has been managing and overseeing its acquisition of security guard services, particularly with regard to the Army's (1) acquisition strategy, (2) employment screening, (3) training of contract guards, and (4) award fee process. This report also discusses DOD's mandated November 2005 report to Congress on the contract guard program.The Army's three-phased approach for acquiring contract security guards has relied heavily on sole-source contracts, despite the Army's recognition early on that it was paying considerably more for its sole-source contracts than for those awarded competitively. The Army has devoted twice as many contract dollars--nearly $495 million--to its sole-source contracts as to its competed contracts and has placed contract security guards at 46 out of 57 installations through sole-sourcing. These sole-source contracts were awarded to two Alaska Native corporation firms under the Small Business Administration's 8(a) Business Development Program. Congress has provided these firms with special advantages in the 8(a) program. During initial planning, the Army worked with a contractor who had not performed guard services before to refine the contract performance work statement. The Army's procedure for screening prospective contract guards is inadequate and puts the Army at risk of having ineligible guards protecting installation gates. The Army found that, at two separate installations, a total of 89 guards were put to work even though they had records relating to criminal offenses, including cases that involved assault and other felonies. Thorough background checks lag far behind the rate at which contract guards are put to work, and the initial screening process relies on prospective guards to be honest when filling out job application forms. In response to an earlier GAO report, DOD agreed to revise its antiterrorism standards to put into place a better mechanism for verifying the trustworthiness of contractors. The Army has given its contractors the responsibility to conduct most of the training of contract guards, and the Army cannot say with certainty whether training is actually taking place and whether it is being conducted according to approved criteria. GAO found that there is no requirement for the Army to certify that a contract guard has completed required training and that Army performance monitors do not conduct oversight of training as a matter of course. GAO also found missing or incomplete training records at several installations. At three installations, guards were certified by the contractor before training had been completed. An investigation discovered that at one installation, contractor personnel had falsified training records; the Army subsequently paid the contractor over $7,000 to re-qualify the guards. The Army has paid out more than $18 million in award fees, but the fees are based only on compliance with basic contractual requirements, not for above-and-beyond performance. Over the life of the contract guard program, the Army has paid out almost 98 percent of the available award fees. The practice of routinely paying contractors nearly the entire available award fee has created an environment in which the contractors expect to receive most of the available fee, regardless of acquisition outcomes. GAO found that many Army performance monitors were not conducting all of the required inspections of contractor activity in order to rate performance.
    [Read More…]
  • Judges Help Students Focus on Meaning of Constitution and Citizenship Day
    In U.S Courts
    Federal judges from New York to California are creating online civics opportunities throughout September to help students honor Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, despite the termination of courthouse trips and classroom visits due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
    [Read More…]
  • Public Designation of Current and Former Members of the Guatemalan Congress Due to Involvement in Significant Corruption
    In Crime Control and Security News
    Michael R. Pompeo, [Read More…]
  • Chinese Man Extradited for Financing Turtle-Trafficking Ring
    In Crime News
    A Chinese citizen was extradited from Malaysia to the United States today to face charges for money laundering.
    [Read More…]

Crime

Network News © 2005 Area.Control.Network™ All rights reserved.