In a diplomatic overture, President Macky Sall of Senegal embarked on a state visit to Nouakchott, Mauritania, responding to the invitation extended by his Mauritanian counterpart. The visit, commencing on Thursday, January 11, holds particular significance as both nations approach pivotal presidential elections in the coming months, fostering an atmosphere for constructive dialogue on shared projects.
Amidst the grandeur of Nouakchott, where Senegalese flags adorned the streets, the two heads of state engaged in a closed-door meeting in the presidential salon on Thursday afternoon. Notably, the discussions centered around the imminent launch of the Great West African Gas Project (GTA), the largest offshore gas extraction initiative in the region, jointly owned by Senegal and Mauritania.
While acknowledging a delay in project realization, as stated in the recent announcement by the Mauritanian government, projections indicate that gas production will commence before the close of the first quarter of 2024.
Additionally, one of the key agenda items was the recent signing of a new fishing agreement between the two nations. This accord outlines provisions for Senegalese fishermen to access Mauritanian waters, fostering cooperative efforts in the realm of maritime resources. The talks also delved into regional security concerns, underlining the importance of collaborative strategies in addressing shared challenges.
Following the official discussions, President Sall continued his visit, connecting with his compatriots who eagerly welcomed him at the former Congress Palace in the Mauritanian capital.
Concluding his state visit on Friday, President Sall’s itinerary includes the inauguration of Senegal’s new embassy in the central Tevragh Zeina district, marking a symbolic step towards bolstering diplomatic ties between the two West African nations. The visit not only underscores the strategic importance of the GTA project and the fishing agreement but also serves as a testament to the enduring diplomatic relations between Senegal and Mauritania.