Fernando Grande-Marlaska and the European Commissioner for Home Affairs strengthen cooperation in Mauritania on migration and on the fight against terrorism and crime

News - 2020.9.18

In addition to the meeting with the President, they held meetings with the Prime Minister of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Bilal Messoud, and with the Minister for Home Affairs and Decentralisation, Mohamed Salem Ould Merzoug. In the afternoon, Fernando Grande-Marlaska and Ylva Johansson travelled from the capital Nouakchott to Nouadhibou, where they visited the respective detachments of National Police and Guardia Civil located in the coastal city.

At the meeting with the Minister for Home Affairs of Mauritania, the first held, Fernando Grande-Marlaska conveyed to his counterpart his satisfaction at "the excellent cooperation" between their departments, "based on mutual trust and respect". Among other matters, they agreed on the need to step up and extend cooperation on the matter of managing migratory flows by strengthening the capacities for response and intervention.

As regards the fight against of terrorism and organised crime, the Spanish minister remarked that Mauritania "can count on Spain's full support and collaboration". "To fight this threat, we must establish international action, while adapting our strategies to the changing challenges", he stated. At this meeting, they also addressed strengthening bilateral cooperation on police training.

President and Prime Minister

Following the meeting, Ylva Johansson and Fernando Grande-Marlaska were received by the President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani. The Spanish minister conveyed to him greetings from the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and highlighted the "strategic nature" of Mauritania for Spain.

"Spain assigns the utmost importance to strategic relations with Mauritania, which are soundly founded on an extensive range of common interests and shared goals. My visit today is another show of the interest of my government in continuing to step up our shared agenda", said Fernando Grande-Marlaska.

Commissioner Johansson, for her part, stated that "Mauritania is a privileged partner for the European Union on migratory management and security". "It is a priority for the European Commission to step up cooperation and financial support on migratory matters with the main countries of origin and transit", she remarked.

At the meeting with the Prime Minister, Mohamed Ould Bilal Messoud, she also underlined the "excellent cooperation" between the Spanish law enforcement agencies and Mauritania.

After this round of meetings, Fernando Grande-Marlaska and Ylva Johansson was due to travel on Friday afternoon to the city of Nouadhibou, in the northwest of the country, where they were to visit the respective detachments of National Police and Guardia Civil located in the city. There they had the opportunity to see first-hand the deployment of the State law enforcement agencies in the country and the maritime, air and land patrol work being jointly carried out with the Mauritanian security forces.

This is the second visit by Fernando Grande-Marlaska to Mauritania as Minister for Home Affairs. Since June 2018, the minister has made official work trips to step up cooperation to Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania, Guinea Conakry, Senegal, Gambia, the Ivory Coast and Ghana.

Non official translation