President Barack Obama will hold talks next month with President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, a key counterterrorism partner for US forces tracking extremists in Africa.
The White House said the May 5 meeting at the White House would highlight the role of Djibouti, which hosts a US Horn of Africa counterterrorism task force, in protecting regional security and preventing conflict.
“The president looks forward to discussing a range of issues of mutual interest with President Guelleh, including security and counterterrorism, development, trade and energy cooperation,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.
The US garrison uses Djibouti as a crucial staging area for assaults on Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen and Shebab forces in Somalia.
Washington recently agreed to move its drone base in the country from Camp Lemonnier, near Djibouti’s international airport, to a more remote location, following concerns over possible collisions between the unmanned planes and commercial aircraft.