Mauritania Press Statement, Lt. Gen. Smith, Deputy Commander – Operations, U.S. Africa Command


Thank you Ambassador Young. I would also like to acknowledge and offer my condolences to those affected by the pandemic. Many parts of the world are beginning to see some progress, but there is still a long way to go before this pandemic is under control.

I would like to re-iterate the words of my colleague — We are very pleased to be here today, representing both the diplomatic and the defense and security aspects of United States Africa Command. The warm welcome and hospitality we have received has been astounding.

But this comes as no surprise, as Mauritania has been a great friend and partner over the years – consistently providing exceptional support to both the United States and other multinational partners in the region.

In additional to Mauritania’s leadership with the G5 Sahel, we are very pleased with Mauritania’s long-standing support and participation in the command’s multi-lateral exercises – most notably with Exercise Flintlock. Mauritania were gracious hosts of the command’s premier special operations exercise in 2020, and we hope that this partnership will continue for many years into the future.

We are thankful we had the opportunity to share these thoughts with President Ghazouani today and to discuss further the critical role Mauritania plays in contributing to regional security and foreign humanitarian efforts.

With our shared interests and strong bond, we believe that more opportunities for partnership and cooperation exist which will pay dividends for both of our nations as a secure and stable Mauritania can serve as a beacon for peace in the region.