Djibouti says Saudi Arabia is planning to set up a military base in the African country amid the Riyadh regime’s deadly military campaign against neighboring Yemen.
In an interview with the Saudi-owned newspaper Asharq al-Awsat released on Sunday, Djibouti’s Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf welcomed the initiative, saying Saudi military authorities had made several investigative trips to his country for the establishment of a facility there.
Negotiations have been held between the two countries’ officials about the plan and a draft strategic security agreement has been prepared to that end, Youssouf said, stressing that the deal will be signed soon.
The top Djiboutian diplomat also noted that some coastal areas have been designated for the construction of the Saudi military base.
Djibouti, a resource-poor nation strategically situated in the Horn of Africa, relies on donations from Saudi Arabia.
The country has been following in Saudi Arabia’s footsteps in its foreign policy, among them severing its diplomatic relations with Iran in January and making baseless claims about Tehran’s intervention in the affairs of Arab countries.
This is while Saudi Arabia has been leading a military campaign in Yemen with the aim of reinstalling the former Yemeni government.
The Saudi war, which was launched in March 2015, has left at least 11,400 civilians dead, according to a latest tally by a Yemeni monitoring group.
The kingdom has come under international criticism for the sheer size of casualties and destruction caused by its offensive on Yemen.