Shoukry discusses regional developments with Mauritanian counterpart

Ahram Online , Wednesday 24 Jan 2024

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry discussed on Wednesday with his Mauritanian counterpart Mohamed Salem Ould Merzoug in Cairo the latest regional developments, most notably the war in Gaza, the situation in Sudan and Somalia, and the security of navigation in the Red Sea.

Egypt's Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry receives his Mauritanian counterpart Mohamed Salem Ould Merzoug in Cairo, 24 January, 2024. Photo: Egyptian Foreign Ministry


The two officials also discussed the political and security situation in the African Sahel region, stressing the need to find effective solutions to pressing issues and challenges in the Sahel to maintain stability in Africa and the Middle East.

The meeting comes amid rising tensions in the Red Sea following the Houthis' repeated attacks on ships near the strategic Bab Al-Mandeb Strait. The Houthis had previously cited Israel's war on Gaza as the pretext for their attacks. 

Since 7 October, Israeli strikes on Gaza have killed more than 25,000 people and wounded 63,000, most of whom are women and children, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Egyptian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said Merzoug is carrying a message from the Mauritanian President Mohamed Sheikh Al-Ghazwani to the Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.

Abu Zeid added that the two ministers discussed cooperation between the two countries, especially in the fields of training, transportation, education, and combating terrorism; they agreed to convene the Egyptian-Mauritanian Joint High Committee according to the agreements between the presidents of both countries in June 2023.

The Egyptian-Mauritanian High Joint Committee aims to foster closer relations and establish more effective partnerships between Egypt and Mauritania.    

Shoukry, in turn, expressed aspiration to strengthen Egypt’s cooperation with the Mauritanian Presidency of the African Union within the framework of El-Sisi's presidency of the Heads of State and Government Orientation Committee of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and his leading role in post-conflict reconstruction and development in Africa.

In February 2023, Egypt assumed the presidency of the orientation committee of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), the development arm of the African Union (AU), which organizes and finances projects and programmes to achieve sustainable development goals in Africa.

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