News 2008


German foreign minister compares notes on power-sharing with Kenyan officials


07. March 2008

BERLIN (AP) - Germany's foreign minister compared notes with senior Kenyan officials Friday on his country's governing «grand coalition» of rivals, an exchange that came as Kenya's politicians prepare to implement their own power-sharing agreement.

One of German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's deputies traveled to Kenya during talks between the country's political rivals earlier

this year to detail how the left-right alliance of Germany's biggest parties, the result of an indecisive 2005 election, works.

«I am glad that we were able to make a small contribution» in offering information on the coalition, Steinmeier said after meeting Friday with Kenyan Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula and Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka.

He noted that, in Germany, «political partners who were opponents in the election campaign manage to get together on ... common aims.

Wetangula said that «we learned a great deal» from the German setup.

An agreement reached last week calls for President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga to share power. Both had claimed victory in a Dec. 27 presidential election.

Their dispute unleashed weeks of bloodshed in which more than 1,000 people were killed, and which exposed divisions over land and economic inequality.

The two Kenyan officials were in Berlin in part to visit an international tourism fair, in an effort to attract back tourists scared away by the recent unrest.

«The good news is that Kenyans are now out of the woods, that they are able to tell their German friends to come home,» Musyoka said.

«I am glad that Kenya is once again on a good path,» said Steinmeier.