PARIS — Nicolas Sarkozy and the President of Djibouti Ismael Omar Guelleh signed in Paris on Wednesday a new treaty for cooperation in defense matters which replaces the agreement signed in Djibouti after independence in 1977 reported the presidency.
It establishes, according to the Elysee, “the framework of bilateral military cooperation” and said “the facilities granted to our operational forces stationed” in Djibouti, the largest French military base abroad which hosts nearly 3,000 soldiers.
This signature “demonstrates the commitment of both countries to close cooperation in security,” says the Presidency in a statement, noting that “France is firmly committed to the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Djibouti, strategically located in the heart of a fragile area. ”
This text is the sixth defense agreement renegotiated by France with a country of its former “backyard” of Africa.
Nicolas Sarkozy promised in February 2008, while traveling in South Africa, the renegotiation of all the secret documents of this type, accused of having covered the French military interventions in favor of controversial African regimes “friends”, and their advertising.
Sarkozy and Guelleh also spoke of “strengthening bilateral cooperation,” the situation in Somalia and the fight against piracy off the Horn of Africa.
The statement from the Elysee did not say whether the two leaders also discussed the Borrel case, that poisons relations between France and Djibouti for many years.
The survey of French justice has long favored the theory of suicide, before choosing, after new expertise, that of a murder in which some witnesses have questioned Mr Guelleh and his entourage.
According to the testimony of a French soldier stationed in Djibouti at the time of the facts revealed on Wednesday by France Culture, the French army had been informed of the assassination of Judge Borrel shortly after his death, through listening to the Djiboutian police .
Mr Guelleh, who is also the subject of a complaint filed in Paris for the murder of two family members of an opponent, made no statement to the press after his meeting with Mr Sarkozy.