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In Kenya, Iran’s Mottaki addresses Somali crisis

Iran’s Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has kicked off his visit to Kenya by highlighting the importance of finding a solution to the Somali crisis.

Mottaki arrived in Nairobi on Saturday morning after a trip to Uganda. The Iranian foreign minister, who is on a two-day tour of Africa, met with his Kenyan counterpart Moses Wetangula.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mottaki said that he hoped to see the four-way meeting between Iran, Kenya, Somalia and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) raise regional and global awareness about the problem in Somalia.

IGAD is a seven-country regional development organization of East African nations, with headquarters in Djibouti.

Other than the gathering, Mottaki’s visit to Africa is also expected to include trade talks.

Commenting on that aspect of the Iranian foreign minister’s trip, Wetangula said that Nairobi was eager to multiply its trade with Iran by tenfold by passing the annual one-billion-dollar mark.

He said Iranian companies were already active in Kenya, especially in road construction projects, but added that removing bureaucratic restrictions, such as visa requirements, could further facilitate business transactions between the two sides.

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