Senegal: Bassirou Diomaye Faye in Mauritania for First Foreign Visit

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President Bassirou Diomaye Faye is expected to embark on his first official visit abroad to Mauritania on Thursday, April 18th. He will meet with his counterpart, President Ould El Ghazouani, in what is deemed a strategic visit to a neighboring and fraternal country, both diplomatically and strategically.

Described as a visit of friendship and cooperation, the trip is slated to last for a day, as per sources within the Senegalese presidency. The choice of Mauritania is primarily due to the strong bilateral relations between the two countries, with citizens living on both sides of the borders for a considerable period. Additionally, President Ould Ghazouani currently holds the presidency of the African Union, adding significance to the visit.

This maiden official journey beyond Senegal’s borders underscores President Bassirou Diomaye Faye’s commitment to African integration, a core principle of his administration. Several ministers are expected to accompany him, including Yacine Fall, Minister of Foreign Affairs and African Integration, El Malick Ndiaye for Infrastructure, Fatou Diouf for Fisheries, and Birame Souleye Diop for Energy.

Among the topics to be discussed is the significant GTA gas field, located offshore between the two countries. Its long-awaited exploitation, initially scheduled for 2022, has faced considerable delays. The new Senegalese president has expressed his desire to renegotiate gas and oil contracts.

Another infrastructure-related subject on the agenda is the Rosso Bridge at the Senegal-Mauritania border, under construction since 2021, and is aimed at facilitating cross-border travel.

Additionally, fisheries cooperation and the renewal of 500 licenses granted to Senegalese fishermen for access to Mauritanian waters are slated for discussion. Finally, cooperation on security matters concerning the jihadist threat in the region will also be addressed.


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