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Kenyan Leader Says Mideast Peace Cannot Be Imposed by Outsiders

February 2, 1990
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

President Daniel arap Moi of Kenya said Wednesday that peace in the Middle East cannot be imposed from outside.

It will not be done by “discussing or passing resolutions,” Moi said, in a meeting with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations at the Willard InterContinental Hotel.

There has to be a “genuine desire for peace,” which can only come when Israel and the Arab countries gain the “confidence” needed to take risks for peace.

Moi continued his neutral position when he was asked whether Kenya would vote for the repeal of the U.N. General Assembly’s 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism. Kenya abstained in the vote. Moi said when the resolution to repeal comes up, he will then consult with his foreign minister on Kenya’s position.

Kenya, which like most African countries broke diplomatic relations with Israel after the 1973 Yom Kippur War, resumed them in December 1988.

“When we decided to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, we decided on our own,” he said. Kenya is one of the few countries to have its embassy in Jerusalem.

Moi added that Kenya now looked to Israel for technological help and from investments from Israeli businessmen.

Saying that Jews are “good businessmen,” Moi also urged investment and tourism from Jews in the United States.

Moi also asked Jewish leaders to press the Bush administration to increase U.S. aid to Kenya. He said Kenya is one of the best friends the United States has, yet receives less aid than countries not as friendly.

Moi spoke of his own warm relations with Jews in Kenya, where there has been a Jewish community since 1895.

He was accompanied on his visit to Washington by his personal physician, Dr. David Silver-stein, president of the Nairobi Hebrew Congregation.

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