General Rayess, honored guests,
Thank you for attending today’s handover ceremony. It gives me great pleasure to be here with you today to commemorate another significant milestone in the strong and proud relationship between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Mauritania. We stand with you today, as we have for the last 61 years, in your efforts to continue providing security to not only Mauritania but the Sahel region as a whole.
Over the past three years, our two countries have worked together to develop, refine, and deliver US$15 million of equipment and training to Mauritania’s Battalion to the G5 Sahel Joint Force. This is no easy task and requires tireless effort by everyone. With that in mind, I would like to thank the Etat-major for its diligent staff that has worked hard to make sure that this project not only addresses the battalion’s needs but that the equipment safely travels the long hard road to where it is needed most – the field. Without your staff’s dedication, this project could not have been the success that it is.
The vehicles, like the ones you see here today, a field hospital, individual soldier equipment, communications equipment, and night vision will play an important role in the battalion’s mission. However, the most important role will be played by Mauritania’s soldiers. It is these soldiers and their efforts that we honor today with our bilateral cooperation.
While today is an important milestone in the history of our cooperation, it also marks the beginning of what is to come. We will continue to stand as an unwavering partner with Mauritania in its efforts to improve security and development in the Sahel. We will work side-by-side to address these challenges whether by land, sea, or air. This is no easy task, but I know that together we can accomplish it. May the fruits of our labor be a safe and secure Mauritania for all.