This article explores the background to normalization of Mauritanian-Israeli relations in depth and detail and demonstrates why the case of Mauritania was unique both for Mauritanians, who sought to replace their erstwhile French allies, as well as for the Israelis – who viewed it as one of the first and most important pillars of their Africa policy and who invested significantly throughout all sectors of the economy. Normalization of Mauritanian-Israeli relations initially began secretly during the regime of President Mu wiyah A mad Ould al-ya and aside from the high-level political and diplomatic contacts, transpired in many different spheres from business, to medicine, to agriculture, telecommunications and lithium extraction and prospecting. The opening of respective embassies in both countries and high-profile visits brought about tensions in Mauritania among the general populace which was never comfortable with diplomatic or trade relations with Israel and which eventually factored in precipitating a coup. Mauritania eventually froze diplomatic relations and finally cut them off after Israeli aggression against Gaza during ‘Operation Cast Lead’ took public sentiment to the titration point. While Mauritania went on to develop relations with Iran, many of the commercial and industrial ties to Israeli corporations still persist if nothing more than for the reason that Israeli penetration of Mauritanian markets and various sectors was (and to a considerable degree still remains) significant. The future situation will likely be determined as a result of the dynamic and interplay of forces discussed in this paper.


normalization of Mauritanian–Israeli relations


Israeli Relations

commercial involvement

Mauritanian economy

military coup

International relations

Read full text here Mauritanian–Israeli relations: from normalization to freeze to suspension 


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