Mauritania has offered to mediate between Morocco and Algeria, which severed diplomatic relations this summer at the initiative of Algiers. The Sahara dispute, which matters to the three countries, is at the heart of the conflict between the two neighbors of North Africa.
In an interview with the Lebanese magazine Al Iktissad wa Al Aamal, the Mauritanian President, Mohammed Ould Ghazouani, affirmed his country’s desire to strengthen “Maghreb cohesion”.
“We always say that our country can play a major role in restoring cohesion between the Maghreb countries”, he declared, saying “worried about the factors of tension which appear from time to time”.
“It is unimaginable the magnitude of the cost that the peoples of the region are paying because of the failure of a strong, efficient and integrated Maghreb union. We are aware of the difficulties encountered by this dream and we regret the obstacles that stand in its way, ”he said, referring to the problem of integration of the region blocked by Algerian claims on the Moroccan Sahara under cover. of the Polisario militias.
This statement suggests that Mauritania could play a role in the mediation between Rabat and Algiers, given that the ties between the two countries have been completely severed since the return to the business of the head of the Algerian diplomacy, Ramtane Lamamra.
While for several experts in international relations, the severance of diplomatic relations at the initiative of Algiers, was mainly aimed at sending the international community the message that Algerian diplomacy has resuscitated, this decision will have many more consequences for the country. future for Algeria at the regional level.
Because indeed, if the country has freed itself from its friendship and its links with Morocco, it is above all to clear its customs for its future destabilizing actions in the region, in particular its strategy aimed at “divide and conquer better”.
At this stage, Algeria categorically refused the mediation of certain Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, and tried to corrupt Tunisia by rushing to the aid of its economy. The country took care of its relations with President Kais Saied as soon as he was elected to bring Tunisia out of its zone of neutrality in the Sahara conflict.
Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune visited his Tunisian counterpart in December and granted him a loan of $ 300 million, a year after a $ 150 million deposit at the Central Bank of Tunisia.
A few days after this visit to Tunisia, it is Mauritania’s turn to be on Algeria’s agenda, in particular because Mauritania is one of the 4 main actors in the regional conflict over the Sahara. Al Ghazouani is expected in Algiers for an official visit, with a large delegation by his side.
As with Tunisia, the Algerian politico-military regime will try to corrupt Mauritania. According to the Mauritanian press, this visit will allow the signing of several bilateral agreements, such as the 27 signed with Tunis.
At the center of Algerian concerns with Mauritania, it will be an attempt to undermine its trade relations with Morocco, a country which delivers most of the fresh produce to Mauritanian markets via the El Guerguerat-Nouakchott road axis, which had created a crisis in the fall of 2020, when Algeria premeditated the entry of armed militias of the Polisario separatists, having taken Moroccan truckers hostage for more than 20 days before the restoration of traffic thanks to the Royal Armed Forces (FAR) .
This operation calculated by Algiers to destabilize the calm in the Sahara a few days before the holding of a meeting of the UN Security Council, had also demonstrated a willingness to take over the trade flow between Rabat and Nouakchott, which resulted in the sending of planes loaded with fresh produce from Algiers while the Polisario blocked the road to Moroccan trucks.
Faced with this aggression, Mauritania officially protested because seeing its interests endangered by Algeria. Since then, the country has strengthened the security of its borders with Algeria to prevent elements of the Polisario from entering its soil and built a base near the borders with Algiers.
If the Mauritanian president has shown his good will and good faith in attempting to mediate between Morocco and Algeria on the Sahara issue, the affair will not be slight, since it will be necessary to convince Algeria to no longer threaten Moroccan territorial integrity and no longer interfere in its affairs, which does not seem to be the direction taken by the Algerian regime which refuses to recognize that it is the instigator of the conflict.