Pakistan President Dr Arif Alvi meets the visiting Djibouti parliamentary delegation in Islamabad. Image Credit: Supplied

Islamabad: Pakistan has announced to establish its resident diplomatic mission in Djibouti.

The declaration was shared after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting with a 12-member parliamentary delegation of the African Union. The delegation was led by President National Assembly of Republic of Djibouti, Mohamed Ali Houmed, according to the official statement. The two sides declared the desire to broaden bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.

The visit is seen as an important development as part of Pakistan’s “Engage Africa” policy, which aims at forging closer ties with the continent by expanding Islamabad’s diplomatic footprint and deepening economic engagement.

Khan said that “the bonds of common faith and values as well as convergence of views on regional and international matters bind the two nations.” Houmed, who is also the acting-Chairman of African Union Parliament, appreciated Pakistan’s “historical” support and expressed hope that visit of parliamentary delegation would help further consolidate Pakistan-Djibouti relations.

The Prime Minister and the visiting delegation also discussed the importance of peace and security in the regional context of both Pakistan and Djibouti. Pakistan’s diplomatic mission in Djibouti would help “strengthen the existing foundation of strong bilateral relations between the two countries” the statement said.

Excellent relations

Pakistan and Djibouti have are eager to strengthen bilateral cooperation in the areas of commerce, culture and defense. President Dr Arif Alvi also held a meeting with the visiting Djibouti parliamentary delegation. Welcoming the delegation, the President said that Pakistan and Djibouti enjoy excellent relations, and Pakistan wanted to further expand defense and economic ties with Djibouti for mutual benefit.

President of National Parliament of Djibouti underlined the need for increasing bilateral cooperation in every domain, including culture, trade and defense. “Gwadar and Djibouti ports would help boost trade between the two brotherly countries,” he said.

Djibouti is a small country strategically located close to the heart of world trade. The African nation is a significant gateway to the Horn of Africa and the wider region of East Africa.