King Mohammed starts visit to Mauritania
Mauritania-Morocco, Politics, 3/7/2005
Morocco's King Mohammed VI arrived this Monday afternoon in Nouakchott, on a working and friendship visit, coming from Senegal.
The sovereign who was welcomed at the airport by Mauritanian president Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya, had visited Morocco's southern neighbor in the aftermath of the failed coup on June 8-9, 2003.
The sovereign, who is on an African tour that led him successively to Gabon, Burkina Faso and Senegal, is accompanied by an official delegation that includes minister of foreign affairs and cooperation, Mohamed Benaissa, royal advisors, Mohamed Moatassim and Abbes Jirari, member of the Royal office, Mohamed Rochdi Chraibi, as well as ministers of equipment and transports, of agriculture, rural development and sea fisheries, of health and minister-delegate for foreign affairs and cooperation.
On Monday, the Mauritanian media highlighted the important "timing" of the visit, as it comes in the aftermath of the improvement of relations between Nouakchott and Tripoli thanks to the Moroccan mediation. Libya-Mauritania relations were strained after Mauritania accused Libya of involvement in the June 2003 failed coup attempt.
The monarch's visit to Nouakchott will provide the opportunity to discuss the agenda of the meeting to be held by leaders of the Maghreb Arab Union on the sidelines of the Arab Summit slated for March 22-23 in Algiers, said the Mauritanian press, pointing out that this visit will have a "positive impact on the betterment of the atmosphere in the Arab Maghreb region."
The North African regional grouping, known by its French acronym UMA, was set up in 1989 in Marrakech. Made up of Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania, UMA is facing a stalemate due to political differences between member countries, in particular between the two most populated ones, Morocco and Algeria, over the Sahara dispute.
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