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Friday, November 6, 2020 – President Uhuru Kenyatta has kicked off his official visit to the State of the Vatican City with a meeting with his host, His Holiness Pope Francis, at the Vatican Palace.

The President arrived at the official Papal residence on Friday and was accorded a full Apostolic Palace State reception including a guard of honour mounted by the Swiss Guards.

Pontifical Swiss Guards are an army of 135 highly trained marksmen drawn from Switzerland and charged with the responsibility of protecting His Holiness the Pope and guarding the Apostolic Palace.

After the formal State reception ceremonies, Uhuru, who was not wearing any mask amid the Covid-19 pandemic, proceeded for a private audience with Pope Francis, also without a mask, before leading the lean Kenyan delegation that included Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Raychelle Omamo for bilateral talks with their hosts led by Cardinal Bishop Pietro Parolin.

The two delegations discussed several subjects of mutual interest among them education, health, regional peace and security as well as the fight against Covid-19.

The Catholic Church is one of Kenya’s foremost development partners, especially in the education and health sectors.

The Kenyan delegation, therefore, sought the Catholic Church’s enhanced participation in Kenya’s education, training, and health sectors in support of the Government’s Big 4 Agenda especially the ongoing rollout of the Universal Health Coverage (UHC) program.

Also discussed was Kenya’s role in regional peace and security especially in South Sudan where His Holiness Pope Francis is personally involved.

President Kenyatta, who is in Rome at the invitation of Pope Francis, is making history as the first Kenyan Head of State to visit the Vatican.

Kenya established diplomatic ties with the Holy See in 1965.

See photos below


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