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News, 3/2/2009 | Embassy of Finland, Addis Ababa

Finland opened diplomatic relations with Djibouti

Ambassador of Finland to Ethiopia Kirsti Aarnio presented her Letters of Credence to President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti on 26 January. Ms Aarnio is the first Finnish ambassador to Djibouti. Official diplomatic relations between Finland and Djibouti were established already on 14 March 2007.

Ambassador Aarnio signs the President's guest book.Ambassador Aarnio signs the President's guest book.

In the formal ceremony, Ambassador Aarnio was accompanied by Second Secretary Anssi Kullberg and Conflict Advisor Simo-Pekka Parviainen from the Finnish Embassy in Addis Abeba.

In her speech to President Guelleh, Ambassador Aarnio emphasised the strategic importance of the small Republic of Djibouti at the intersection between the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. She said that Djibouti is an important commercial port for many African countries and that it serves, for example, as a gateway for nearly all deliveries to Ethiopia.

The Ambassador also acknowledged Djibouti and President Guelleh for their contribution to peace work in Somalia.

President Guelleh welcomed the opening of diplomatic relations with Finland and said that especially now that the situation in the Horn of Africa is politically unstable, it is important to establish new partnerships with friendly countries.

The President also noted that Djibouti hopes that Finland will engage in cooperation with his country in the water sector, in particular, because the country suffers from chronic lack of water due to the arid soil and torrid climate.

Ambassador Aarnio also met Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssuf, Speaker of Parliament Idriss Arnaoud Ali and members of the local diplomatic corps.

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Updated 3/2/2009

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