US Defense Chief Says Djibouti is Key Counterterror Ally

Posted December 13th, 2011 at 4:25 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says countries like Djibouti are key to counterterrorism efforts, as the U.S. shifts its focus to al-Qaida affiliates in Somalia and Yemen.

Panetta made a brief visit Tuesday to Djibouti, where he met with President Ismail Omar Guelleh and thanked him for his support and partnership.

The defense chief said the U.S. will continue to go after al-Qaida-linked militants, including the Somalia-based al-Shabab and al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

Panetta also visited with U.S. troops in Djibouti, where about 3,000 American service members are stationed.