The following are the speeches delivered Thursday by President Kibaki and ODM leader Raila Odinga when they met for the first time since the outbreak of violence.
Kibaki: I’m committed to dialogue
“I know you are all deeply concerned, as I am, about the violence, loss of innocent lives and destruction of property that have afflicted some parts our nation since conclusion of the general elections.
As I pointed out after being sworn in as your duly elected President of Kenya, I will personally lead our country in promoting unity, tolerance, peace and harmony among all Kenyans.
To this end, I remain committed to dialogue and reconciliation at all levels of our society. The Government therefore, welcomes the eminent African statesmen and woman, Mr Kofi Annan, Mr Benjamin Mkapa and Mama Graca Machel who have come to facilitate dialogue within our constitutional and legal framework.
As Government, we are determined to get to the underlying causes of these unprecedented events and to lead the nation in a process of healing, reconciliation and lasting harmony.
My Government remains committed to its primary duty of protecting the lives and property of all Kenyans and to providing an enabling environment for the enjoyment of all our fundamental freedoms. I appeal to all Kenyans to remain calm and to shun violence as we endeavour to find solutions. I have confidence that together our resilience, unity and determination will make it possible for us to overcome the challenges.
Thank You and God Bless You.
Raila: We are ready to walk the extra mile for the sake of peace
“I have said in the past that we are ready to walk an extra mile for the sake of the country. Today, we have taken the first step in seeking a solution to the dispute whose consequences have ravaged the country. I want to state that my party and I are prepared to take this journey to ensure that justice and order are achieved and respect of democracy is restored in this nation.
I want to praise the African Union for taking the first step in seeking to end the violence and fighting in the country that arose from the disputed election results.
I pledge to all Kenyans that my team and I will spare nothing in resolving this dispute.
I urge all of you to be patient and uphold the spirit of brotherhood as we continue holding talks.
You can be sure that the negotiations will not last any day longer than it is supposed to be.
Kenyans have suffered, people have died and there is pain and hatred everywhere. Kenyans are angry and they want to see justice being respected in their country.
We in ODM are ready for talks because we cannot achieve justice without negotiations. I have met Hon Kibaki. We have talked and agreed to continue holding talks until we resolve the dispute.
We want peace, an end to suffering and hatred among Kenyans.
We are seeking for a just solution that would satisfy all people.
Thanks, once more.”