President Joe Biden has announced his intent to designate Kenya as a major non-NATO US ally, the first such designation for a sub-Saharan African country, Report informs referring to CBS News.

The president made the announcement during Kenyan President William Ruto’s state visit to the White House, the first for an African leader since the George W. Bush administration. The trip also coincides with the 60th anniversary of US-Kenyan diplomatic relations.

“I’m proud to announce we’re working with Congress to designate Kenya a major non-NATO ally,” Mr. Biden said during a joint press conference with the Kenyan president. “That’s a fulfillment of years of collaboration. Our joint counterterrorism operations have degraded ISIS and al-Shabaab across East Africa. Our mutual support for Ukraine has rallied the world to stand behind the UN Charter. And our work together on Haiti is helping pave the way to reduce instability and insecurity.”

Presidents can grant the major non-NATO ally designation to countries that have close strategic working relationships with the United States, a senior administration official told reporters on a call. Once the president informs Congress of the move, there is a 30-day period before the designation will go into effect. The designation, under US law, provides foreign partners with defense, trade and security cooperation benefits.