China military declines to confirm Djibouti base plan

Peace and Freedom

Reuters

China’s Defense Ministry on Thursday declined to confirm a report that it was in talks for a military base in Horn of Africa country Djibouti, though it said all countries had an interest in regional peace and stability.

In May, Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh told Agence France-Presse of the talks, adding that Beijing’s presence would be welcome in the former French colony, which borders Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia.

The United States and France both already have bases in the country and its port has been used by foreign navies, including China’s, participating in the fight against Somali pirates.

Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman Yang Yujun, asked about the report at a monthly news briefing, said the two countries had a traditional friendly relationship.

“Over the past few years both countries’ friendly cooperative relationship has kept on developing, and in all areas there is practical cooperation,” Yang said, in comments…

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