Mauritanian President Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz made a volt face by declaring an outright support for Morocco’s sovereignty over the Sahara making it clear that Rabat and Nouakchott share borders with no entity in between.
“There is no state between us” said the President in an interview with Arai Al Yaoum news portal.
The statement clarifies years of ambiguity of Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz’s leadership and stresses Mauritania’s support for the territorial integrity of its neighbor with whom it shares centuries old history and strong trade ties.
“The US, Europe and the West do not want a state placed between Morocco and Mauritania,” said President Mohammed Ould Abdel Aziz, much to the chagrin of Algeria, which has been funding and backing the separatist Polisario militias for over four decades in vain.
Ould Abdelaziz made the statement at a time cracks appear in the edifice of the Algerian regime, which has been putting pressure on African countries to support the Polisario.
This is also a mea culpa by President Oulf Abdel Aziz who has shown ambiguous stands regarding ties with Morocco, which he never visited during his two terms.
Ties warmed up between the two countries in late 2018 after the appointment by Morocco of its new ambassador to Nouakchott Hamid Chabar.
In December 2017, Mauritania appointed Mohamed Lemine Ould Aboy new ambassador to Morocco, filling thus a position that has been vacant since 2012.
Mauritania is key in Morocco’s African policy as the Kingdom has stepped up its economic ties with Africa.
The gas pipeline launched by Morocco and Nigeria will require a common ground between all passage countries in West Africa including Mauritania. All the West African countries are set to benefit from the project notably in terms of boosting energy security.