ADDIS ABABA(Halbeeg-News)-The President of Djibouti, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh pledged that his country will take part in regional integration of the Horn of Africa.
In a meeting with Ethiopian Prime minister, Abiy Ahmed on the sidelines of recently concluded the 11th AU Extraordinary Summit in Addis Ababa, Mr. Guelleh welcomed the efforts of the leaders from the region to improve the relations between the countries in the Horn of African countries.
The two Horn leaders discussed bilateral and regional issues of interest. President Guelleh commended Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for spearheading reforms both at the national and regional levels.
According to Ezega, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy assured the President of Djibouti that Ethiopia will continue to work for a smoother relations between the two countries.
Djibouti Foreign Minister, Mahamoud Ali Youssouf thanked the Ethiopian Prime Minister for “all he has done” to smoothen and strengthen relations with Eritrea. He added that he hopes “all other pending issues with Eritrea will be resolved with the help of Prime Minister Abiy.”
Djibouti has not attended the recently concluded summit between the leaders of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia in Amhara regional state of Ethiopia.
Djibouti, close to restive regions in Africa and the Middle East, is home to several foreign military bases, including those run by the U.S., France and Japan. China also is constructing its first overseas military base there, just a few miles from Camp Lemonnier, one of the Pentagon’s largest and most important foreign installations.
Over the last two decades, Ethiopia has relied on Djibouti for much of its import-export business, earning the small Horn of African country millions of dollars in revenue every year and making it a key player in regional affairs.
Beyond Ethiopia’s strategic interests with Djibouti, the two countries have shown great interest in fostering regional economic integration. They are highly inter-dependent. The Port of Djibouti is the only maritime facility for the landlocked country of Ethiopia. Those interests have been boosted by the establishment of a Chinese-built, 756-kilometer electrified rail project, which officially started operations this year.