“The relationship between Djibouti and Ethiopia is stronger than ever. No foreign pressure would shake it,” said President Ismail Omar Guelleh
High level Ethiopian Delegation was in Djibouti on Thursday to meet with the president of the country, Ismail Omar Guelleh who won a fifth term in April of this year with over 97 percent of the vote.
Temesgen Tiruneh,(Director of National Intelligence and Security Services -NISS), General Berhanu Jula (Chief of staff of the Ethiopian Defense Force) and Ahmed Shiedie ( Minister for Finance) were in the delegation.
Mr. Berhanu Jula met with his Djibouti counterpart, General Zekaria Shiek Ibrahim and discussed ways of strengthening military cooperation. Information sharing, education and training are the areas that are identified for cooperation at this stage. Making the borders of the two countries and the Ethio-Djibouti corridor peaceful is another area where the two sides agreed to cooperate on.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia disclosed that the delegation briefed Djibouti’s president about the situation in Ethiopia, including works to ensure peace and security in the Tigray region while addressing the humanitarian situation. Classes have started in the region and normalcy is returning.
Also, the delegation told the president, as disclosed by the Ministry, that Ethiopia is working to overcome external and internal challenges and maintain peace and security.
Mr. Ismail Omar Guelleh is said to have hailed the effort Ethiopia is making to overcome its challenges. The strategic partnership between the two countries is stronger to a point that the ties are intertwined. “The crisis in one of the countries could affect the other,” he said, as cited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia.
Furthermore, the president expressed readiness to further strengthen it.
In January 2021, Djibouti awarded Ethiopia’s Defense Chief of Staff, Berhanu Jula, its highest military medal. Mr Ismail Omar Guelleh himself ordered the medal in what was said to be a recognition of military leadership during the course of law enforcement operations in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.
In the eyes of the Djibouti president, back then, the successful military operation against Tigary People’s Liberation appeared to be noteworthy. He also recognized him for “his great contribution to peace and stability in the country and the region as well,” as reported by Fana Broadcasting Corporate.
Ethiopia’s high level delegation visit to Djibouti came weeks after Egyptian president Abdul Fetah el-Sisi visited the country – the first ever by Egyptian president. The president reportedly expressed interest in boosting cooperation on “Security matter on the Red Sea.” Ethiopia’s Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) was also part of the conversation.
Upon completing his visit, Mr. Sisi is quoted as saying “I stressed Egypt’s rejection of any attempt to impose a fait accompli through unilateral measures that disregard the interests and rights of the two downstream countries,” as reported by Anadolu Agency at the time.