Wide Angle

To ensure the king’s presence in the AU summit, Ould Abdel Aziz relies on a Bouteflika method

In order to make King Mohammed VI attend the 31st African Union summit, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is relying on a strategy used by Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika. The latter gave promising results at the Arab League summit in March 2005.

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz./Ph. DR
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A few days before the 31st African Union summit kicks off, the Mauritanian president boosts efforts to make King Mohammed VI attend the meeting, to be hosted by Nouakchott.

Yesterday, Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz received Hamid Chabar, Morocco’s new ambassador to Mauritania. Previously, the country has refused to accredit the former governor in charge of coordinating with MINURSO, knowing that his appointment dates back to April 2017. In October 2017, Nouakchott finally decided to accept his designation.

The audience granted to Chabar is, moreover, not the only significant decision targeting Morocco. On Eid al-Fitr, Ould Abdelaziz released two Moroccan prisoners held in Mauritania. A step that was questioned by local media.

Using Bouteflika’s methods

It is clear that Ould Abdel Aziz is making use of an old technique Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika relied on in the past. A few months before the holding of the Arab League summit in March 2005, Bouteflika praised the role played by Morocco in the Maghreb.

Bouteflika’s plan was to convince King Mohammed VI into attending the meeting. Once his goal was achieved, Algeria immediately went back on its traditional policy, perceiving Morocco as an enemy.

Reacting to the decision : Morocco refused to receive the Algerian Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia, who was intending to visit the Kingdom in June 2005. Later on, Rabat announced that the sovereign won’t attend the Arab Maghreb Union summit in Tripoli.

For the record, Mauritania is to host on the 1st and 2nd of July the 31st African Union summit. During this meeting, Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat will present a «detailed report» on the implementation of Resolution 653, adopted at the summit held on the 3rd and 4th of July 2017 in the Ethiopian capital.

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