Djiboutian National Day

Press Statement
John Kerry
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
June 26, 2015

On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Djibouti on your National Day on June 27.

Djibouti and the United States share a commitment to protecting and securing the entire region. Our partnership has grown through close collaboration — including between the Kentucky National Guard and the Djiboutian Armed Forces.

I feel fortunate to have been the first Secretary of State to visit Djibouti when I traveled to your country this spring to meet with President Guelleh and Foreign Minister Youssouf.

I also met with the Minister of Islamic and Cultural Affairs and Imam Maalim and had a conversation with local youth at Salman Mosque.

Finally, I toured Camp Lemonnier, the only permanent U.S. military base in Africa.

But among the most memorable things I did was give travel papers to Yemeni-Americans who had fled the ongoing conflict in Yemen and found safe haven in your country.

They were not alone: through Djibouti's good graces, you have helped ensure the safe passage of thousands of evacuees from more than 60 nations.

Your assistance to U.S. citizens and their families has earned our deepest gratitude.

As you celebrate 38 years of independence, I want to repeat my thanks and underscore how I look forward to strengthening our already strong ties in the year to come.