Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday exchanged congratulatory messages with Djiboutis President Ismail Omar Guelleh to mark the 40th anniversary of bilateral relations.

In his message, President Xi expressed his willingness to join hands with Guelleh to elevate the bilateral strategic partnership to new heights.

Xi stressed that he highly values the development of China-Djibouti relations, and is willing to take the opportunity of the 40th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties to consolidate the mutual trust, deepen the cooperation in building the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), and implement the results from the 2018 Beijing Summit of Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC).

President Xi said the past 40 years have witnessed a healthy and steady development of bilateral ties as well as fruitful cooperation in various fields thanks to mutual understanding and support on issues concerning the core interests of each other.

Xi also looked back to to pivotal top-level exchanges between the two countries. He recalled Guelleh’s state visit to China in November 2017, during which they jointly announced the establishment of a bilateral strategic partnership.

He also mentioned their meeting during the Beijing Summit of the FOCAC in September 2018 when they reached a new consensus on further bilateral ties and signed a memorandum of understanding on pushing forward the BRI.

In his message to President Xi, Guelleh said he is satisfied with and proud of the smooth advancement of the bilateral ties since its establishment and will make joint efforts to push the bilateral relations further forward.

He responded that the 2017 decision to lift bilateral ties to a strategic partnership marked both countries’ resolution to forge closer ties while providing the direction for their economic and trade cooperation.

Guelleh thanked the Chinese government and its people for their help and support to Djibouti, and stressed that his country will continue adhering to the one-China policy.