Djiboutian Foreign Minister Mahmoud Ali Youssouf said in a March 1, 2023 interview on Al-Jazeera Network (Qatar) that Djibouti opposed the Israeli attempt to "infiltrate" the African Union by voting against granting Israel observer status. He also said that Djibouti supports the two-state solution and that it will not normalize relations with Israel until the rights of the Palestinians are fully restored. In addition, he spoke about Djibouti's military and economic relations with the United States and China.
Mahmoud Ali Youssouf: "Djibouti opposed the Israeli attempts to infiltrate the African Union. We were among the African Union member countries that did not agree to give Israel observer status in the African Union, and for known reasons. Djibouti still demands to respect the rights of the Palestinians, as well as the return of the refugees.
"Djibouti has closed the door to normalization [with Israel]. Such normalization of relations will not happen before the rights of the Palestinian people are fully restored. This position of ours is immutable and unshakeable.
"When the U.S. first approached us following the 9/11 incidents in New York, not a single African country agreed to host a U.S. base as part of the war on terror. However, thanks to the foresight that characterizes the leadership in Djibouti, we agreed to host that American military base. At the time, we received a lot of criticism from the African countries. Later, similar American bases spread in the African continent for various reasons. Similarly, I believe that China has its own interests. Djibouti has strong commercial ties with China. Djibouti takes large loans from China to build its infrastructure such as ports, railways, roads, and what is needed to develop its economy. Therefore, I believe that relations between countries should not be limited only to the military-strategic aspect, but should expand to other aspects, like the economy, culture, and so on. This is our starting point in establishing our relations with the superpowers."