22 May 2017

Mauritania Willing to Take Part in Belt and Road Initiative - President

Nouakchott — Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz said Friday that Mauritania supports and stands ready to participate in the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.

Speaking during a meeting with visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Aziz said Mauritania would like to further enhance coordination with China on issues such as the reform of the UN Security Council so as to jointly safeguard the benefits of developing countries, especially African countries.

Expressing his appreciation to China's long-term support and assistance, Aziz said that Mauritania attaches high importance to its relations with China, adding that the rapid development of bilateral relations in recent years has brought about concrete benefits to the Mauritanian people.

He said Mauritania stays open to China and welcomes Chinese companies to invest in the country and enhance cooperation in industries including mining, fishery and manufacturing.

Aziz also hoped that China would provide help to the development of Sahel G5, a regional mechanism established to safeguard regional peace and stability.

For his part, Wang said Aziz had reached broad consensus with Chinese President Xi Jinping when visiting China in 2015, and the consensus has been carried out in a practical manner.

Wang said China supports Mauritania's path of development that suits the nation's conditions, and the two countries have always understood and supported each other, citing the Chinese-aided Friendship Harbor in Nouakchott, capital of Mauritania, which has become a model for China-Africa cooperation.

Meanwhile, he said Chinese companies' participation in the road construction projects at present is helping the country's development.

Wang said China encourages Chinese companies to invest in Mauritania and cooperate with the country in areas including sea port construction, mining development and maritime economy, so as to help Mauritania grow its economy, improve people's livelihoods, and gradually establish its own industrial system and the capacity for independent development.

"China also hopes that Mauritania will provide a sound environment for the investment and operations of Chinese companies," he said.

He said China supports the Sahel G5 mechanism, and is willing to work with Mauritania in improving the country's peacekeeping and law enforcement capabilities.

"China and Mauritania, being both developing countries, should further enhance coordination and cooperation on international matters," said Wang, adding that China's vote in the United Nations always belongs to developing and African countries.

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