US pledges support to Djibouti

Doraleh Container Terminal Doraleh Container Terminal is now being managed by Pacific International Lines

The US will support Djibouti in strengthening governance and security in acknowledgement of its role in safeguarding sea trade and humanitarian aid.

Following a press conference between US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Djiboutian Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, Mr Tillerson said that there had been discussion about the US’ work to support reforms that would create long-term prosperity for Djibouti and make it more competitive for investments and trade.

“Djibouti plays a major role in safeguarding the free flow of global commerce through the Red Sea, allowing billions of people to access goods from all over the world by keeping the sea lanes free and open,” he said.

Humanitarian role

He added: “Djibouti is a very important port for the delivery and the distribution of food assistance to so many countries.”

Referencing the Yemen crisis, he explained: “We have made progress in getting the Port of Hodeidah open, where we're able to get more humanitarian assistance in. Djibouti is playing a role in helping get humanitarian assistance in with flights into the capital of Sana'a.”

New terminal contract

The press conference follows the cancellation of DP World’s contract with Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT) and the government of Djibouti’s seizure of the terminal last month, the result of a dispute over terms and poor performance, claimed the Djibouti Ports & Free Zones Authority (DPFZA).

On March 6 DPFZA said a new contract had been signed by Pacific International Lines and Doraleh Container Terminal Management Company.

It stated the deal would see 33% more cargo each year at the terminal.

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