The warning came one week after Djibouti launched the first phase of Africa's biggest free trade zone, developed by China, months after scrapping a concession agreement with Dubai's global port operator DP World.
China, which has the only foreign military base near the Red Sea terminal, is developing and financing the free trade zone as it considers Djibouti an important part of its USD 1 trillion "Belt and Road" global investment initiative.
"DP World reserves the right to take all available legal actions, including claims for damages against any third parties that interfere or otherwise violate its contractual rights," the port operator said in a statement.
In February it terminated a 50-year concession agreement with DP World over the Doraleh container terminal, claiming flagrant violation of state sovereignty and national interests.
DP World reiterated today that its concession agreement over the terminal "remains in force" and warned that the "illegal seizure of the facility does not give the right to any third party to violate the terms of the concession agreement".
Djibouti in 2017 unveiled three new ports and a railway linking it to landlocked Ethiopia, as part of its bid to become a global trade and logistics hub.
The trade zone, which is connected to Djibouti's main ports, aims to diversify the economy, create new jobs and lure foreign investment through tax-free incentives and full logistical support.
The new spat comes with Chinese President Xi Jinping scheduled to visit the United Arab Emirates next week. The free trade zone is being run by Djibouti, the majority shareholder, along with three Chinese companies.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)