Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg today in Brussels. The Sahel nation is

NATO Secretary General

Photo: Francois Lenoir/ Reuters

Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani will meet with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg today in Brussels.

The Sahel nation is a key member of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue. Illicit migration and regional security are also subjects of discourse, as Mauritania is a crucial transportation centre for migrants seeking asylum in Europe. NATO is also deeply concerned about the large presence of Islamic extremist groups in Northwest Africa such as Nusrat al-Islam and Al Qaeda. Many of the jihadists are Mauritanian nationals and the militants’ international network and global outreach threaten the internal security of NATO members. While Mauritania is a poverty-stricken country with a vast portion of its population lives below the poverty line, it is also a prominent member of G5 Sahel, an institute combatting active terrorist organisations.

In today’s meeting, Stoltenberg and Ghazouani will stress the necessity of further cooperation. As it is in NATO’s best interest that Nouakchott expands its fight in opposition to religious radicalism, the alliance sees Mauritania as an important geopolitical ally for countering regional instability. Nouakchott benefits from NATO’s security aid as it vows to continue its effort to combat illegal Salafi fundamentalists. Moving forward, NATO will increase assistance to Mauritania’s military via the Defence Education Enhancement Program (DEEP).

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