Policy & History

For almost sixty years, the United States and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania have established a relationship based upon mutual respect and common interests. Our partnership with Mauritania began in 1960 when, under President Dwight Eisenhower, the United States was the first country to recognize Mauritania’s independence.

The United States and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania share a common concern for regional security, global terrorism and sustainable development. Our strategy in Mauritania is to contribute toward strengthening security and increasing economic opportunity to enlarge the political space for addressing severe injustices, such as the vestiges of slavery and discrimination, in a highly complex and rigidly structured ethno-racial society.  The United States assistance to Mauritania is concentrated on security assistance, humanitarian assistance, poverty alleviation, democracy, human rights, and health. The United States and Mauritania also have a strong history of technical and educational exchanges which has benefited both nations. The security relationship in particular continues to be important with the provision of military training and equipment, the law enforcement capacity building, and the countering of violent extremism programming (mostly vocational training). Our foreign assistance also contributes toward Mauritania increasing regional diplomatic and security engagement, especially through the Sahel G-5 organization, as Mauritania bolsters its status as a partner for the promotion of regional stability and effective UN peacekeeping.