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Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Djibouti-US Bi-national Forum holds its first meeting

(Medeshi)- MoFA - The inaugural meeting of the US-Djibouti Bi-national Forum took place in Washington last week (February 25-26). 

Issues discussed included security cooperation, economic development, energy exploration, and education. The ministerial-level meetings, led by Secretary of State John Kerry and Djibouti’s  Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, underlined the commitment by both sides to continue a strategic dialogue on key priorities, notably on countering violent extremism and terrorism in the Horn of Africa. They agreed a new state partnership between the U.S. National Guard and the Djiboutian Armed Forces to be launched later this year. 
They also agreed to strengthen their economic partnership and work to implement recent legislation giving preference to Djiboutian companies to win goods and services contracts at Camp Lemonnier. The Forum concluded with the two sides agreeing to hold regular meetings throughout the coming year to prepare for the second Bi-national Forum in 2016, to be hosted by the Government of Djibouti in Djibouti. 
USAID chaired an economic roundtable during which the Djiboutian delegation and U.S. Government agencies highlighted areas of focus for economic development in Djibouti including development in the energy, education and labor sectors. 
The Djibouti delegation included the Ministers of Defense and Economy and Finance, the Presidents of Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority, and of the Djiboutian Chamber of Commerce and other officials. US officials represented the Departments of State and Defense, USAID and the National Security Council.