Relations between Egypt and Mauritania have a special nature, as they have not witnessed a decline at all, and this is why the congruence between Cairo and Nouakchott was logical, inevitable and expected, and that joint cooperation has borne fruit in the political, economic, cultural and military fields, which predicts promising opportunities and great growth of relations, which will reflect positively on the two peoples, in addition to the privacy The geographical and cultural Mauritania that makes it an important gateway for the effective Egyptian role in West Africa. Many files talked about by Ambassador Ahmed Salama, the ambassador of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Nouakchott, through his dialogue with the “Al-Ahram Gate”, which came as follows:
Salameh worked in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and was Egypt’s ambassador to Peru in South America, then deputy assistant foreign minister for security organizations, and I took over my duties here since November 2018.
How do you see the bilateral relations between Egypt and Mauritania?
Bilateral relations between Egypt and Mauritania are ancient and historical, as Egypt was one of the first countries to establish a diplomatic mission in Mauritania in the 1960s, and the most important characteristic of these relations was that they were always characterized by friendliness, friendship and cooperation during those decades and had not witnessed any tension or decline at all. My arrival during my interview with the officials here, starting from Mr. President Mohamed Ould Sheikh Al-Ghazwani to interviews with the Prime Minister and the ministers, their appreciation for the enlightening role played by the Egyptian Cultural Center in supporting the Arab and Islamic identity of the Mauritanians by providing all the knowledge at that time when communication channels were scarce between Countries and generations here still remember that credit.
What was the nature of the ties between Egypt and Mauritania before the 1960s?
The contact and communication between the brothers in Egypt and Mauritania was and still is fruitful and continuous since a long time ago, dating back to pre-Islam. The Himyari tribes crossed Egypt on their way to the Maghreb after the collapse of the Ma’rib Dam in the second century B.C, and then the Arab tribes Al Hilal, Sulaymaniyah and Al Maqaliyah crossed it in the century The fifth hijri on its long way to the Arab Maghreb. The Egyptian-Mauritanian spiritual and intellectual communication remained strong through scientific and linguistic bridges through the ages and by studying and teaching in Al-Azhar and the Egyptian universities and institutes that many Mauritanian students graduated.
What are the fruits of the distinguished relations between the two countries in the political field?
– Egypt and Mauritania are two sides of the same coin in many issues in light of the fraternal relations between President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and President Mohamed Ould Sheikh Al-Ghazwani. The relations between the two countries are witnessing a lot of distinction in a number of issues such as support for international and regional peace and security, especially in the African Sahel region and the war on terrorism Combating terrorism and extremist ideology, in addition to supporting the joint Arab action and supporting African efforts striving to achieve sustainable development.
The two countries’ visions are also in agreement regarding developments on the Arab and African arenas, foremost of which are developments in Libya, Syria and Yemen, as well as the Palestinian issue.
What are the most prominent positions that embody this mutual interaction between Egypt and Mauritania?
– There are many positions between the two countries to translate these constructive relations, as Egypt played an important and effective role in settling the dispute that arose between Mauritania and Senegal in 1989 AD, through the signing of a peace agreement between the two countries with Egyptian mediation in 1992.
After the tripartite aggression against Egypt in 1967, the Mauritanian people donated to their Egyptian counterpart an amount of 420,000 CFA francs. While Mauritania supported and supported 17 Egyptian candidates to occupy seats or positions in international and continental organizations, it also supported the re-election of the Secretary-General of the Arab League for a new term, in appreciation of his role in the first period.
What are the aspects of cooperation in the economic file?
– The economic file has great momentum, as Mauritania is one of the largest producing countries of iron and gold, and gas fields have been discovered. The coming years will witness some kind of prosperity in the country, which will be reflected in the development boom in the country and the cooperation frameworks between the two countries and the Egyptian embassy in Nouakchott is working hard to enhance cooperation between the two sides and open its doors For Egyptian and Mauritanian investors to enhance cooperation, Egyptian companies are implementing some projects in Mauritania, such as the Arab Contractors Company, which has succeeded in implementing a water project in the south and establishing a road linking two Mauritanian cities in the east of the country. Al-Suwaidi has implemented an electric line project in the southeast of the country with a length of three hundred km and other companies working in the field of networks Electricity, and the largest store in Mauritania in furniture and electrical appliances is owned by an Egyptian citizen. The economic relations between the two countries are also witnessing development in the fields of trade and investment, and the continuation of work to enhance trade exchange and investment flows between the two countries by providing a favorable legal environment and building partnerships between actors in the commercial and investment fields, whether At the official level or the private sector.
Why has the Egyptian-Mauritanian Business Council activity frozen in the past period?
We should not put the cart before the horse, as we are currently working in the two countries to establish the first joint council for Egyptian and Mauritanian businessmen and to strengthen economic cooperation in the field of fishing, fisheries, agriculture, livestock, medicine, exchanges and building materials in order to improve economic relations in a way that serves the two countries. There is already cooperation existing between businessmen in the two countries, which began to be materialized through partnership. There are also about six Mauritanian-Egyptian fishing companies, and these companies are the first bilateral partnership between the two countries. Egyptian experts are also dispatched in the field of fish farms and Mauritanian seafarers are trained on traditional fishing and deep fishing.
Cultural ties remain special between the two countries .. What are the frameworks for cooperation in this field?
– The march of cultural cooperation is proceeding with continuous success between the two countries and is supported by historical and cultural ties with keenness to support it culturally and educationally, for example the composer of the Mauritanian national anthem is an Egyptian artist, Rajeh Daoud, and was honored by the President of the Republic, and the largest and longest street in Nouakchott bears the name of the late President Jamal Abdel Nasser, his name changed for a period of time, but the President of Ghazwani renamed him. A few weeks ago, we celebrated the passage of fifty-seven years since the opening of the Egyptian Cultural Center in Mauritania, and Egypt allocates many scholarships to Mauritanian students who obtain high school or who are enrolled in higher studies through the Ministry of Higher Education And Al-Azhar Al-Sharif, and a number of Egyptian universities wish to establish branches in Mauritania and establish a partnership with the University of Nouakchott, and Egypt offers the Mauritanian side many training opportunities thanks to the Egyptian Agency for Partnership for Development. These opportunities include the fields of agriculture, irrigation, health, diplomacy, judiciary and media.
What about the role of the Egyptian community in Mauritania?
The Egyptian community in Mauritania is not large in number compared to the presence of Egyptians in other Arab countries, but it has a positive role inside the country and is appreciated by the authorities here, and their communication with the embassy is fruitful. They are partners in all national events and events, and taking care of their interests is our lofty message.
How is it reflected Egypt’s presidency of the African Union On the active role of the organization?
– President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s leadership of the African Union was fruitful and appreciated by all African countries, as he worked hard to continue the path for structural and financial reform of the Union and to complete the achievements made in order to consolidate the ownership of member states of their continental organization and endeavor to develop the tools and capabilities of the Union and its commissions to meet the aspirations of African peoples, And strengthening sustainable development frameworks to provide more job opportunities for African youth.
How do you see Mauritania organizing the African Youth Cup?
– Mauritania is a very ambitious country, despite its newness in this field, but it has achieved successes in this regard, so hosting a large tournament of this size and in the circumstances of the Corona pandemic did not come out of a vacuum, but rather the product of a tremendous effort, and it has a precedent of successes in hosting major conferences such as the Arab and African summit and the meetings of the Group of G5, which includes Mauritania, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mali.
How do you see the development endeavors pursued by Mauritania at the present time?
– Since the arrival of President Mohamed Ould Sheikh Al-Ghazwani, confirming that he is the president of all Mauritanians, he raised the slogan of transparency, combating corruption, and gave full freedom to the opposition, and the country has followed the path of development significantly. I believe that Mauritania will reap the fruits of these steps very soon, and Mauritania is completely safe. It is the country of a million poets.