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Obama to meet Djibouti President on May 5

Djibouti's president Ismail Omar Guelleh arrives on April 2, 2014 at the EU Headquarters in Brussels
Djibouti's president Ismail Omar Guelleh arrives on April 2, 2014 at the EU Headquarters in Brussels

President Barack Obama will hold talks next month with President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti, a key counterterrorism partner for US forces tracking extremists in Africa.

The White House said the May 5 meeting at the White House would highlight the role of Djibouti, which hosts a US Horn of Africa counterterrorism task force, in protecting regional security and preventing conflict.

"The president looks forward to discussing a range of issues of mutual interest with President Guelleh, including security and counterterrorism, development, trade and energy cooperation," White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.

The US garrison uses Djibouti as a crucial staging area for assaults on Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen and Shebab forces in Somalia.

Washington recently agreed to move its drone base in the country from Camp Lemonnier, near Djibouti's international airport, to a more remote location, following concerns over possible collisions between the unmanned planes and commercial aircraft.

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