Wide Angle

Mauritania and Algeria have a similar position on the Western Sahara conflict, says a diplomat

For Mauritania’s ambassador to Algeria, the two countries have a similar position on the Western Sahara conflict. This comes as Nouakchott announced on several occasions that it adopts a neutral position when it comes to the territorial dispute.

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz and his Algerian counterpart Abdelaziz Bouteflika./Ph. DR
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Two weeks after Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita headed a delegation to Geneva to attend a round table on the Western Sahara conflict alongside the Polisario, Mauritania and Algeria, Nouakchott’s ambassador to Algiers commented on diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Blah Ould Mekia told reporters that Mauritania and Algeria «have similar opinions when it comes to the Western Sahara conflict», reported Mauritanian newspaper Anbaa on Saturday, December the 15th.

«The two countries have a similar vision for several regional and international issues, especially when it comes to the Western Sahara conflict brought under the auspices of the United Nations, as well as issues related to the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime», said the Mauritanian ambassador.

Relations with Algerian and Mauritania's neutral position

Blah Ould Mekia did not miss the opportunity to praise cooperation between Nouakchott and Algiers and the opening of land borders on August the 19th.

During the same meeting, chairman of the Algerian parliament’s foreign affairs and cooperation committee Abdelhamid Si Afif stressed that the creation of a joint parliamentary friendship group will «strengthen cooperation» between the two countries.

The Algerian MP praised Mauritania’s diplomacy, indicating that Nouakchott is «aware of the Maghreb region’s challenges».

The statement of the Mauritanian diplomat, in which he said that his country’s position goes hand in hand with the Algerian one, comes as Nouakchott announced in several occasions that it is being neutral regarding the territorial conflict.

Meanwhile, Algeria, which houses the Polisario camps, says that it stands with the «Sahrawi people’s right to self-determination», and accuses Morocco of obstructing the referendum on self-determination.

Mauritania recognized «Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic» in 1984, and received the Front’s leader several times in the presidential palace.

Nouakchott and Rabat

These statements come also at a time when Morocco and Mauritania have been trying to strengthen diplomatic relations by appointing ambassadors in Rabat and Nouakchott, respectively.

Furthermore, in September, Mauritanian Foreign Minister Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed visited Morocco and met a number of Moroccan officials. This visit took place almost two years after former Mauritanian Foreign Minister Islko Ould Ahmed Izid Bih flew to the Kingdom.

In November, Morocco’s Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita headed to Mauritania carrying a royal message for President Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz.

At the end of this visit, Bourita said that «there is a common desire to boost relations between Morocco and Mauritania and strengthen bilateral ties».

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