Djibouti Vows to be Part of Regional Integration
November 18, 2018 - Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed met Djibouti President Ismaïl Omar Guelleh on the sidelines of the 11th African Union Extraordinary Summit in Addis Ababa.
The two horn of Africa leaders discussed bilateral and regional issues.
According to ENA report, the President of Djibouti praised Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed for the changes he brought both at the national level and regional level.
He also welcomed regional integration of the Horn of Africa and vowed to be part of it.
Following the discussions between Abiy Ahmed and Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, Ethiopian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Workneh Gebeyehu, told journalist that the two leaders discussed ways to strengthen bilateral ties and the integration of the region.
Touching upon the still unresolved issues between Djibouti and Eritrea, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy is said to have assured the Djibouti President 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 smooth relations with Eritrea. He added he believed “all other pending issues with Eritrea will be resolved with the help of Prime Minister Abiy.”
Djibouti was absent in the recently concluded summit between the leaders of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia in Amhara regional state of Ethiopia.
Some commentators questioned the significance of Djibouti's absence at the time, and that of another neighbor, Sudan.
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.
Since the peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea, and the rapidly growing relations, however, it is unknown how much of that trade will remain with Djibouti.
Perhaps in view of that competition, Djibouti has been diversifying its port business to include Free International port with the help of the China, which has also a military base in the country. On July 11, 2017, China officially opened a military base in Djibouti, the only base the country has outside its borders.