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AFRICOM commander meets with Djiboutian Foreign Minister

U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command met with Djiboutian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf Nov. 26.

Djibouti, DJIBOUTI -- U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command, and U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti Larry E. André met with Djiboutian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf Nov. 26.

During the visit, the leaders discussed security in Djibouti, the region and their dedication to working together on the mutual goals of regional stability, security, and prosperity. The visit highlighted the strong partnership and ways Djibouti and the United States continue to work together to ensure security for the region.

"Djibouti is a critical security partner, providing essential support for our activities across East Africa and to the African Union Mission in Somalia. Djibouti has demonstrated its commitment to regional security and we are proud to partner with them," said Townsend.

The leaders underscored the importance of the longstanding U.S.-Djibouti security partnership. Djibouti provides essential support for U.S. military activities in the Horn of Africa, East Africa, the Western Indian Ocean and beyond.

U.S. Africa Command's Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa is Headquartered at Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti. It represents the largest enduring U.S. military presence in Africa. CJTF-HOA's mission is to enhance partner nation capacity, promote regional security and stability, dissuade conflict, and protect U.S. interests.

"Global competitors understand Africa's importance to their strategic interests. What we do in East Africa matters to U.S. national security and it is important our forces understand the positive impact they are having," said Townsend.

The U.S. supports the development of Djibouti's military, to include the Djibouti's Rapid Intervention Battalion, a quick reaction infantry force trained and equipped by the U.S.

Djiboutian forces regularly participate in U.S. Africa Command training events to include Justified Accord and the Cutlass Express exercises where an exchange of ideas, mutual learning, and interoperability across domains occurs between the U.S., African, and international countries.

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