Q - Can you describe France’s cooperation with Mauritania, particularly on security and development?
A - Jean-Yves Le Drian is in Mauritania today to discuss cooperation between the two countries with President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, especially in the areas of security and development.
We work closely together on security and defense. That includes counterterrorism, support for the country’s engagement in peacekeeping operations, and support for strengthening Mauritania’s navy. Fourteen volunteers are posted in the country. France is also in favor of ramping up the G5 Sahel, whose headquarters is in Nouakchott, particularly with respect to cross-border cooperation on military partnership.
Mauritania is also one of the 17 priority countries for receiving French development assistance. The priorities for cooperation are sustainable development (environment, water purification and protection of biodiversity) and human development (education and vocational training, health and culture).
For 2016, the budget for cooperation on academic and cultural matters was nearly one million euros. The average amount of annual contributions by the French Development Agency is nearly 46 million euros. A “Campus France” space opened on November 15, 2015, on the grounds of the Institut français de Mauritanie, and was attended by more than 4,000 students in 2016.