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Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III Gives Remarks in Nairobi, Kenya (As Prepared)

Good afternoon, everyone. And thank you, Secretary Duale. It's great to be here in Nairobi, and it's great to be in Kenya during my first trip across Africa as Secretary of Defense.

I'm grateful for your warm welcome and your hospitality. Now, I wanted to be here in person to underscore the importance of our ties to Kenya.

It was a pleasure to be able to meet today with Secretary Duale to discuss our strong defense partnership. And during our meeting today, I thanked him for hosting U.S. forces at Manda Bay and for his commitment to our shared security.

Signing the Framework for Defense Cooperation between our countries today reinforces the importance of our strategic partnership with Kenya.

And it will help guide our bilateral defense relationship for the next five years.

And I'm looking forward to meeting with President Ruto later today, to discuss our strategic, bilateral partnership.

Now, the U.S. government deeply values our partnership with Kenya in countering al-Shabaab.

And we're grateful to Kenya for its leadership in tackling security challenges in the region and around the world. I also thanked the Secretary today for Kenya's willingness to consider leading a Multinational Security Support Mission in Haiti.

The United States stands ready to support that important mission by providing robust financial and logistical assistance.

And we intend to work with the United States Congress to provide up to $100 million in support.

And we urge others in the international community to follow Kenya's great example and to step up to provide more personnel, equipment, support, training, and funding.

So, the United States remains committed to working with Kenya to help bring stability and security to the region, and beyond.

And we deeply appreciate Kenya's leadership and friendship. So, thank you again for being such great hosts and partners. And we're happy to take a few questions.