Saudi Arabia, Djibouti agree to boost defense cooperation

Saudi Arabia and Djibouti have signed an agreement to strengthen defense cooperation, enhance security and monitor military meddling in the region.

Djibouti’s Defense Minister Ali Hasan Bahdon held talks at a reception hosted by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Wednesday in Riyadh, where they signed the agreement, Dya-Eddin Said Bamakhrama, Djibouti ambassador and dean of the diplomatic corps, told Arab News.

During the talks, the two stressed the need to further improve bilateral relations, Bamakhrama said. The agreement will include exploring the possibility of a defense committee holding meetings whenever required and overlooking military interference.

“The two ministers discussed the latest developments taking place in the region, including the joint efforts exerted by both to support peace, security and stability,” Bamakhrama said, adding that they shared the same vision in this regard.

Djibouti is very close to the Kingdom, and is a member of the Arab Coalition on Yemen and the Saudi-led Islamic alliance against terrorism, he said.

Bahdon told Asharq Al-Awsat, a sister publication of Arab News, that the defense agreement will provide safety and security to the region and to the people of both countries.

He described the Kingdom as the backbone of regional stability, saying it has a long history of supporting Djibouti and other Arab countries, and is being targeted because of this.

Djibouti is cooperating with the Kingdom to monitor any military intervention or weapons-smuggling from Iran to Yemen, Bahdon added.

Condemning the use of chemical weapons in Syria and Houthi rebels targeting civilians in Yemen, he said Iranian intervention is the reason behind the crises in both countries.

Bahdon also met King Salman and gave him a letter from Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh on enhancing bilateral relations.