US President Barack Obama did not carry gifts given to him by Kenyaâ€™s Uhuru Kenyatta when he left the country on Sunday, July 26, 2015, a State House official has confirmed.
A top statehouse official was quaoted saying that President Obama left the gifts behind and there are American regulations determining how gifts from foreign governments are received and the process had already started.
American Constitutionâ€™s Article I, Section 9, clause 8, restricts the president and all federal officials from receiving any gifts from foreign governments, kings, or princes, without approval of the Congress.
However, Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act of 1966 allows for acceptance of gifts of â€œminimal valueâ€ from foreign governments offered as souvenirs or marks of courtesy.
The law also makes an exception on the acceptance gifts when a refusal of the gift may cause â€œoffense or embarrassmentâ€ or otherwise harm the foreign relations of the United States, Reagan Archives states.
â€œA tangible gift of more than minimal value accepted for reasons of protocol or courtesy may not be kept as a personal gift, however, but is considered accepted on behalf of and property of the United States, and in the case of such a gift for the President or the Presidentâ€™s family, is handled by the National Archives and Records Administration,â€Jack Maskell, a legislative lawyer for the Congressional Research Service, notes.
President Kenyattaâ€™s gifts to President Obama were two pencil portraits done by Collins Okello and a sculpture of an elephant said to be worth $3,000 in total.
The US introduced the gifts regulations in order to protect the President and his family and also reduce chances of bribery.
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