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Djibouti welcomes Saudi Arabia plan to build a military base

Djibouti defence minister, Ali Bahdon [ITU/YouTube]

The Djibouti defence minister has welcomed the presence of Saudi forces in the country, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

In an interview with the paper, Ali Bahdon said that Saudi experts had arrived in Dijibouti to assess military cooperation.

“There are historical, ideological and cultural relations with the Kingdom, and we are one people who share the same values, and we have the same issues and problems; relations are much greater now, as we are in a new phase of geopolitical changes in the region,” he said.

On building a Saudi military base, Bahdon said: “As you know, in terms of cooperation, there is a military agreement signed between the two sides. This agreement has many aspects, including the Joint Military Commission.”

Djibouti is a member of the Saudi-led Arab alliance which is currently fighting in Yemen against the Iranian backed Houthi armed group. Saudi Arabia has had long lasting relations with Djibouti.

Djibouti lies on the Bab Al-Mandeb Strait which acts as a strategic link between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea via the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. Saudi Arabia has been eager to secure the waterway to ensure the security of shipping routes which are used for its oil exports.

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