NAIROBI   -     Kenya on Thursday denied a diplomatic spat with neighboring Somalia. Macharia Kamau, principal secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told journalists in Nairobi that Kenya has always been facilitating Somali citizens who are living in Kenya.

“We just need to understand each other. Somalia needs to respect our territorial integrity while Kenya needs to respect that there are certain needs it has to avail to Somalia,” Kamau said.

Earlier this week, three Somali government officials with diplomatic passports were denied entry into Kenya at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Kamau said the incident does not mean that there is a deterioration in relations between Kenya and Somalia. The incident was just an immigration issue, he said.

“Nationals of other countries were also denied entry into Kenya and this don’t amount to diplomatic incidences,” he added.

Kamau said Kenya has had a long history of assisting neighbors in their hour of need. “We have been hosting refugees from Uganda, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia for many decades,” he said.