Djibouti’s President Ismail Omar Guelleh paid an official visit to Qatar from November 30 to December 1, welcomed on his arrival by Culture Minister Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Hamad al-Thani.

The program of the visit included his participation in the opening ceremony of the 2021 Arab Football Cup, while on December 1, President Guelleh met with Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

The meeting was judged by both as cordial and in the wake of the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries. The ministerial delegations that accompanied the Djibouti President to Qatar, as well as some representatives of the local government, also took part in the talks.

According to rumors leaked on the sidelines of the meetings, the main topic of discussion during the talks between the President of Djibouti and the Emir of Qatar concerned the evolution of the conflict in Ethiopia.

Djibouti does not hide its concerns about the evolution of the conflict, and makes no secret of its support for the government headed by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, fearing, however, that the outcome of the fighting could on the one hand prejudice the economic interests of the country, and on the other alter the political and ethnic balance within Djibouti.

While the position of the United Arab Emirates in the Ethiopian crisis is very clear to Ismail Omar Guelleh – with Abu Dhabi’s support for the federal government of Abiy Ahmed – the position of Qatar, often opposed to that of the United Arab Emirates, appears much darker in the eyes of the president of Djibouti.

The purpose of Ismail Omar Guelleh’s visit to Doha, therefore, must be seen in the context of the many initiatives undertaken by the president of Djibouti to obtain reassurances regarding the institutional stability of the Ethiopian government and, more broadly, the reassurance of a broader interest in the stability of the entire Horn of Africa region.


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