NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani of Mauritania to NATO Headquarters on Thursday (14 January 2021) for talks on strengthening security cooperation.
“I welcome Mauritania’s important contributions to regional security. You are a leader in the G5 Sahel group and your forces are in the front line, countering terrorism in the region. We are closely following the security situation”, the Secretary General said after the first ever visit of a Mauritanian President to NATO.
Mauritania has been a NATO partner country since 1995 and the Secretary General stressed that the Alliance is committed to helping Mauritania strengthen its capabilities. In recent years, the Alliance has supported Mauritania with constructing safe munition depots, destroying obsolete ammunition and training military personnel. NATO also helped to set up four crisis management centres in the country. NATO has also supported the development of Mauritania’s operational capabilities and crisis management in the fields of public health and civil protection through the establishment of two civil protection units.
“I am pleased to say we have agreed on an enhanced dialogue on counter-terrorism”, the Secretary General said. “This dialogue can lead to greater cooperation between NATO and Mauritania, including on border security and countering improvised explosive devices”, he added. The Secretary General also discussed how NATO can support the G5/Sahel in the future, for example through capacity building. Speaking about the situation in Libya, Mr. Stoltenberg urged all parties in the country and all members of the international community, to support the Berlin process and the UN-led process.