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Hagel, Dempsey Meet With Djibouti’s President at Pentagon

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 7, 2014 – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met at the Pentagon today with Ismail Omar Guelleh, the president of Djibouti.

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, right, greets Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh at the Pentagon, May 7, 2014. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

In a statement summarizing the 30-minute meeting, Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said the three leaders discussed regional security interests and bilateral issues, including counterterrorism and details of the new 30-year land lease to support U.S. forces at Camp Lemonnier.

“Secretary Hagel reiterated the United States’ commitment and partnership for regional security in the Horn of Africa and efforts to prevent al-Qaida and al-Shabaab from threatening stability and the free flow of commerce,” Kirby said. “He also stressed the importance of the newly established bilateral forum to discuss mutual security issues.”

Hagel lauded Djibouti’s contributions to the African Union Mission in Somalia, he added, and the leaders discussed current and future U.S. support for Djiboutian security forces participating in the mission.

“The conversation ended with Secretary Hagel commending the courage of Djiboutian forces in operations against terrorists and thanking President Guelleh for hosting and helping ensure the safety of U.S. personnel in Djibouti,” the press secretary said.


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