For immediate release
Ambassador Remarks for the Opening Ceremony of Cutlass Express 22
Sunday, February 6, 2022 08:00
Good morning to our honored guests, General Zakaria, Chief of the Armed Forces, Colonel Wais, Commander of the Coast Guard, distinguished guests and invitees, and all participants.
I am delighted to be here this morning for the opening ceremony of the 22nd iteration of Cutlass Express and would like to start by thanking our Djiboutian colleagues who have been loyal partners and who have supported various military cooperation initiatives for many years including CUTLASS EXPRESS.
The United States is pleased to be participating alongside all of you in CUTLASS EXPRESS. This year’s exercise is combined with the International Maritime Exercise headquartered in Manama, Bahrain bringing the total number of nations participating in the combined exercises across multiple host sites to more than 60 nations. Here in Djibouti, the exercise has seven nations participating—Comoros, Djibouti, Greece, Senegal, Somalia and the United States.
The valuable operational experience gained during Cutlass Express contributes to participating countries’ ability to suppress and counter illegal activities, including piracy, arms trafficking, human smuggling, and drug trafficking.
Our participation together over the next 12 days is key to help us strengthen our relationships and recommit to the principles that guide this partnership—adherence to rule of law and the capacity to disrupt illicit maritime activity.
Recognizing the importance of this region to international shipping routes, the capstone event will involve boarding a merchant vessel being used specifically for the exercise. This will illustrate the close communication and partnership critical to disrupt illicit maritime activity.
In closing, I would like to say again it is an honor for the the United States to partner with so many nations, and I look forward to a highly productive exercise for all the participants! Thank you.
For more information, please contact the Public Affairs Section of the U.S. Embassy: (253) 21 45 34 03 or e-mail at DjiboutiPD@State.gov