U.S. Secretary of State Meets with Government Officials in Djibouti
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to hold meetings in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti Wednesday, the latest stop on his foreign tour that included a stop in Somalia on Tuesday.
Kerry is expected to meet with President Ismail Omar Guelleh and Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf, and also later with U.S. officials at the U.S. military base Camp Lemmonier. The U.S. military installment in Djibouti has become an important part of the U.S. military presence in the Middle East, as it lies just across the Gulf of Aden from Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
On Tuesday, Kerry made a historic visit to Somalia, becoming the first top-ranking U.S. diplomat to visit the war-torn country.
VOA's Pam Dockins, who is traveling with Kerry, reports the secretary spent about three-and-a-half hours at the Mogadishu airport, where he met with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the prime minister and other officials.
Somali Foreign Minister Abdisalam Hadliye Omer told VOA's Somali service that the visit shows Somalia has turned around and is "open for business."
He said talks with Kerry focused on giving Somalia a stronger government and prospects for reopening a U.S. embassy in the capital.
US Approves Sea Ferry Service To and From Cuba
The Obama administration has taken another step forward in its efforts to normalize relations with Cuba by restoring commercial ferry services between the former Cold War rivals.
The U.S. Treasury Department has issued licenses to at least four companies to ferry passengers and cargo along the 150 kilometer route from the southern tip of Florida to Havana. Three of the companies are based in Florida.
In a related story, U.S.-based airliner Jet Blue announced Tuesday it would provide charter flights between New York City and Havana beginning in July.
Ferry service between the U.S. and Cuba was commonplace in the years before the 1959 communist revolution.