Nouakchott / Mohamed El Bekay / Anatolia
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov announced, on Wednesday, that he had discussed with Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Cheikh Al-Ghazwani the security “threats” in the African Sahel region and the “negative repercussions” of the war in Ukraine.
After talks with Ould Ghazouani at the presidential palace in the capital, Nouakchott, Lavrov said during a press conference that they “focused on the need to address threats in the African Sahel region.”
He described the security situation in the Sahel and Sahara region as “worrying,” stressing the need to “redouble joint efforts to successfully address the threat still posed by terrorism, and even more dangerous.”
According to observers, Mauritania has turned into a point of polarization between Russia and NATO, in light of the rift of the Sahel group of countries, Moscow’s establishment of its feet in Mali, its movement towards Burkina Faso, and its endeavor to position itself on the Atlantic coast on the southern wing of the alliance.
Lavrov and Ould Al-Ghazwani also discussed “the urgent need for more efforts for a just settlement of the Sahara issue (the Sahara region)” disputed between Morocco and the “Polisario” front, according to the Russian minister.
Since February 24, 2022, Russia has been waging a war in its neighbor Ukraine, which has affected the food and energy sectors worldwide, and prompted countries, led by the United States, to impose severe economic sanctions on Moscow.
Lavrov said that he “discussed with Al-Ghazwani’s father ways to prevent the two countries from being affected by the negative repercussions of this war, especially in the areas of food and energy.”
He announced, “The organization of a conference for Mauritanian and Russian businessmen on the sidelines of the second summit of Russia and Africa in St. Petersburg between July 27 and 29.”
He also stated that he also discussed with Ould Al-Ghazwani “strengthening cooperation in the field of fishing,” expressing his “thanks to Mauritania for the facilities provided to Russian fishermen and ships.”
Lavrov expressed his hope that “these facilities will continue,” adding that his country is “interested in diversifying cooperation with Mauritania to include raw materials and exploration.”
On Tuesday evening, Lavrov began a two-day visit to Nouakchott as part of an African tour that he started from Mali and also includes Sudan.
This is the first visit by a Russian official of this level to Mauritania, although Lavrov has intensified his African tours for years.
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