Mauritania President to Asharq Al-Awsat: Our Priority Is to Fight Poverty, Exclusion
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani stressed that his country would always stand with Saudi Arabia against anything that would affect its security, stability, and interests, underscoring the distinguished relations with the Kingdom.
Ghazouani said his visit to Riyadh was aimed at enhancing the bonds of brotherhood, friendship, and existing cooperation between the two countries, and for the purpose of consulting on various urgent issues of common concern.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Ghazouani, who assumed office in August, said that his government has set as priorities combating poverty, exclusion, and marginalization, reforming the educational system, and building a strong and effective economy to create job opportunities and produce added value, as well as consolidating a culture of dialogue and mutual respect between the various political parties.
“Globalization has caused a fundamental change in the traditional rules that governed the development of countries, as those have been forced to enter into coalitions to take advantage of the horizons and potentials of globalization, and to mitigate its negative repercussions,” he said.
“We are convinced that the formation of these blocs and the support of multilateral cooperation is the best way to achieve the sustainable development goals that we all embraced in the United Nations, and are working towards achieving by 2030,” the president added.
Asked about challenges facing the region, the Mauritanian president said that Arab and Islamic nations were exposed to various challenges at the security, developmental, and cultural levels.
“To meet these challenges, it is necessary to resolve existing conflicts in the Arab world in a way that guarantees the countries’ independence and the dignity of their peoples,” he emphasized.
Ghazouani underlined the need to work towards the elimination of extremism and the promotion of the values of tolerance and moderation, pointing to the importance of developing a joint Arab action, achieving economic integration and combating injustice and exclusion.
As for the Palestinian file, he said: “We have always been, and still are, clinging to a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue, which would guarantee the Palestinian people’s rights, and the establishment of an independent state, with Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions.”
Ghazouani touched on crises facing some Arab countries, mainly Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, and Sudan.
“We look at these crises with sadness, pain, and grief,” he remarked. “The logic of dialogue should prevail in Iraq, Lebanon, and Sudan, as in the whole world, as the only way to solve crises.”
As for Libya, the Mauritanian president noted that an inclusive dialogue must be accelerated in parallel with efforts by the United Nations, the African Union, and the League of Arab States.