ADDIS ABABA - Djibouti's government welcomes China's
greater involvement in the nation's port development, Finance Minister
Ilyas Dawaleh has said in a recent interview with media.
Djibouti has terminated cooperation with the Dubai Ports World over
the running of the Doraleh container terminal because of a dispute and
reached an agreement with Singapore-based Pacific International Lines
Pte Ltd (PIL) on March 5 to boost cargo trade at the port.
Last August, PIL partnered with China Merchants Port Holdings Co to build new markets in Asia.
Meanwhile, Dawaleh dismissed US concerns about losing access to
Doraleh port, saying it would be ridiculous to imagine that China could
restrict or deny US access to Doraleh as a result of the deal.
"Djibouti's development needs all its friends and strategic
partners," he said, adding "no one can dictate to us who we should deal
Located in the Horn of Africa, Djibouti is an important choke-point that links the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh made a state visit to China in
late November, becoming the first head of state of an African country
to visit China since the conclusion of the 19th National Congress of the
Communist Party of China (CPC) last October.
During the visit, China and Djibouti agreed to establish a strategic partnership to strengthen all-round cooperation.