Biden designates Kenya as 'major non-NATO ally'

Biden designates Kenya as 'major non-NATO ally'

US president first announced decision to elevate Kenya to such designation in May

By Servet Gunerigok

WASHINGTON (AA) - US President Joe Biden designated Kenya as a "major non-NATO ally" on Monday, making it the first sub-Saharan African nation to receive the designation.

"By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including section 517 of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (22 U.S.C. 2321k) (the “Act”), I hereby designate Kenya as a Major Non-NATO Ally of the United States for the purposes of the Act and the Arms Export Control Act," said a White House memorandum.

Biden first announced the decision to elevate Kenya to such designation in May as he hosted Kenyan President William Ruto at the White House for a lavish state visit as they celebrated six decades of relations.

The move comes as Washington seeks to push back against growing Russian and Chinese influence in the region.

Biden then pointed to Nairobi's assistance with the US's national security priorities, including efforts to defeat the Daesh/ISIS terror group as well as al-Shabab in East Africa, what Biden described as "mutual support" for Ukraine and ongoing efforts to deploy a Kenyan security force in the instability-wracked Caribbean island nation of Haiti.

The other major non-NATO allies include Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, South Korea, Thailand and Tunisia. Taiwan is treated as such without the formal designation.

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