Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has this morning jetted into the country and is currently holding bilateral talks with his host president William Ruto at State House in Nairobi.
Raisi visit was rescheduled to today in what the Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Ministry attributed to yet to be finalised Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) between the two countries but pundits contend that the change of itinerary would have been triggered by diplomatic tussle between Kenya and Western countries.
After holding the bilateral currently going on at State House, president Ruto and Raisi are expected to hold a joint press conference at 9.00am.
Thereafter, Raisi will proceed to lay a wreath at the Mausoleum of the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta before proceeding for a tour of other African countries.
Raisi’s tour marks his first visit to Africa in 11 years, and is part of a three-day tour that also includes Uganda and Zimbabwe.
The visit was to provide the two countries with an opportunity to review and re-energize their bilateral relations for the mutual benefit of the people of the two countries.
Kenya and Iran have maintained diplomatic relations since 1963, and although the trade volume between the two countries has been relatively modest, they have collaborated in various areas such as education, culture, and security.
Trade primarily involves Kenyan exports of commodities like tea and coffee, while Iran exports oil, carpets, and machinery to Kenya.
In the field of education, Iranian universities have provided scholarships to Kenyan students, fostering cultural exchanges between the two nations.
Security cooperation has also been a notable aspect of the relationship, with Kenya and Iran sharing intelligence and working together to counter the threat of terrorism.
However, economic ties have faced challenges due to international sanctions imposed on Iran.