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World > Africa > Djibouti > Foreign Relations (Notes)

Djibouti - Foreign Relations (Notes)


FOREIGN RELATIONS
Military and economic agreements with France provide continued security and economic assistance. Links with Arab states and East Asian states, Japan and China in particular, also are welcome. Djibouti is a member of the Arab League, as well as the African Union, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).

Djibouti is greatly affected by events in Somalia and Ethiopia, so relations are important and, at times, delicate. The 1991 falls of the Siad Barre and Mengistu governments in Somalia and Ethiopia, respectively, caused Djibouti to face national security threats due to instability in the neighboring states and a massive influx of refugees estimated at 100,000 from Somalia and Ethiopia. In 2000, after 3 years of insufficient rain, 50,000 drought victims entered Djibouti. In 1996, a revitalized organization of seven East African states, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), established its secretariat in Djibouti. IGAD's mandate is for regional cooperation and economic integration, and it has also sought to play a positive role promoting regional stability, including its efforts in support of Somalia's Transitional Federal Government.

Djibouti seeks to play the role of neutral in the frequently tense regional politics of the Horn of Africa. It became Ethiopia's sole link to the sea when fighting broke out between Ethiopia and Eritrea in 1998. Aside from a two-year break in relations from 1998-2000, Djibouti has maintained a cordial relationship with Eritrea. Eritrea's President Isaias and Djibouti's President Guelleh exchanged visits in 2001, and Isaias returned to Djibouti in 2006 for the regional summit of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), hosted by President Guelleh in his capacity as incoming COMESA President. Djibouti continues to cultivate cordial relations with Ethiopia, reflecting the fundamental economic ties between the two countries and a long tradition of interchanges. However, rising tensions in Somalia and Ethiopian military involvement in Somalia in 2007 fueled widespread criticism of Ethiopia among Djibouti's majority Somali-speaking population. President Guelleh attended the 2007 Africa Union summit in Ethiopia and supports the African Union peacekeeping operation for Somalia (AMISOM).


Facts at a Glance: Geography - People - Government - Economy - Communications - Transportation - Military - Climate - Current Time - Ranking Positions
Notes and Commentary: People - Economy - Government and Political Conditions - Historical Highlights - Foreign Relations - Relations with U.S.



Facts at a Glance
Geography
People
Government
Economy
Communications
Transportation
Military
Climate
Current Time
Ranking Positions


Notes and Commentary
People
Economy
Government and Political Conditions
Historical Highlights
Foreign Relations
Relations with U.S.





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