Iran President Raisi visit to Kenya delayed

Tuesday July 11 2023
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi. PHOTO | AFP


Kenyans will have to wait a little longer to find out the fate of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's planned visit to Nairobi after a press briefing scheduled for 9am Tuesday was cancelled at the last minute.

Journalists who had arrived outside Gate D at State House for the event were informed by Hussein Mohammed, State House spokesman, that the meeting had been postponed. He said it was likely to take place in the afternoon or on Wednesday.

The Nation is yet to ascertain whether President Raisi has arrived in the country, as there has been no communication.

Read: US-Iran hostility recipe for instability in Horn of Africa

Hours later, Cabinet Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alfred Mutua, in a statement, said that the Iranian President would arrive in the country on Wednesday and meet President William Ruto at 7am at State House, Nairobi for bilateral talks. 

He has added that the rescheduling of the meeting was to allow Kenya to finalise its memoranda of understanding (MoU) that will be discussed by the two presidents.


“The schedule of the President has now been reviewed to allow for the finalisation of key MoUs that are central to the furtherance of relations. The Iranian President will now arrive tomorrow for a state visit. The Iranian President will now arrive tomorrow for a bilateral meeting. He will, thereafter, proceed to lay a wreath at the mausoleum of the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta before proceeding to tour other African countries,” said Dr Mutua.

Read: Iran's president to visit Uganda, Kenya and Zimbabwe

President Raisi's visit to Kenya followed an official invitation from President Ruto and the two were expected to discuss ways to expand trade relations, agriculture, energy and technology. The two were also expected to sign cooperation agreements after meeting with local delegates.

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said that President Raisi's trip was "a new turning point" that could strengthen economic and trade ties with African countries. He also said the trip was based on 'shared political views' between Tehran and Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

President Raisi is expected to visit Uganda on Wednesday for bilateral talks with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. He is then expected to visit Zimbabwe.