Wednesday, December 2, 2009

US Secretary of State Clinton Statement on Kenyan Consideration of a New Constitution

(APO)/ -- Hillary Rodham Clinton

US Secretary of State

The United States welcomes the publication of the new draft constitution by Kenya's Committee of Experts. On my visit this summer, I urged Kenya's people and leaders to move forward with the reform agenda that is so important to Kenya's future. I am pleased that they have taken this step, which represents a major milestone in that process.

I encourage all Kenyans to use the 30-day comment period to engage in a constructive and substantive dialogue on a new constitution. This is an opportunity for the Kenyan people to help determine the content of the constitution and come together to build a system of government that serves and protects the interests of all, regardless of political affiliation, ethnic group, or faith.

This is also a time for President Kibaki and Prime Minister Odinga to demonstrate their leadership and commitment to a peaceful future by working together to support a constitution that will serve the national interest for generations to come. I hope Parliament will act expeditiously, and with a sense of shared purpose, when the draft is formally presented to it.

The United States is committed to supporting the Kenyan people's efforts to implement their reform agenda. Development and ratification of a new constitution will provide a solid foundation for a more peaceful, prosperous, and democratic future.

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