The President of the Republic of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, held talks with the United States Defense Secretary, Lloyd Austin, during his trip to Djibouti on Sunday.

The leaders discussed bilateral defense partnerships and regional security issues, including Djibouti’s support for the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) in the fight against the Al-Shabaab terrorist organization.

“I had a constructive meeting with the American Defense Secretary, Mr. Lloyd Austin, to strengthen our partnership in defense, security, and the fight against terrorism,” said President Ismail Omar Guelleh on his official X account.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin thanked President Guelleh for his country’s longstanding and effective security partnership with the United States.

“The United States and Djibouti share a longstanding security relationship. It was great connecting with President Ismail Omar Guelleh during my first trip across Africa as Secretary of Defense,” said Lloyd Austin, the U.S Defense Secretary.

“I look forward to continuing our efforts to further grow the United State-Djibouti defense partnership,” he added.

Secretary Austin also met with the Minister of Defense, Hassan Omar Mohamed Bourhan, to discuss the advancement of bilateral security priorities in East Africa.

“The Minister and I had constructive discussions on critical issues and regional stability efforts,” he added.

The U.S Secretary of Defense started his African trip with a visit to Djibouti, which shows the importance of U.S engagement in the peace and security in the Horn of Africa region.

The United States has its largest military camp in Africa, “Camp Lemonnier,” in Djibouti, which hosts thousands of American soldiers.

Djibouti’s strategic location in the African continent has attracted global attention, leading several countries like France, the US, Russia, Italy, and China set up military bases in Djibouti and invest in the region, each competing for control and influence.

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