Mauritania's President Moktar Ould Daddah has returned to his country after a tour which took him to Canada, France and Morocco.
Mauritania's President Moktar Ould Daddah has returned to his country after a tour which took him to Canada, France and Morocco. In France, the Mauritanian leader had discussions with the French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing on the situation in western Sahara -- the west African territory jointly governed by Mauritania and Morocco. The Western Sahara was also reported to be high on the agenda for talks when President Ould Daddah made his stop-over visit to Morocco on Thursday (2 June).
SYNOPSIS: President Ould Daddah was met by Morocco's Foreign Minister, Ahmed Laraki, when he arrived at Rabat Airport. Mauritania and Morocco have maintained close links since they took joint control of the former Spanish Sahara territory in February 1976. They have also had to face a campaign of violence from a group known as the Polisario Front which is seeking independence for the former Spanish territory. There have been a number of serious clashes between Polisario Front guerrillas and members of the Mauritanian armed forces. The front were responsible for an attack on the Mauritanian village of Zouerate on the first of May in which four people died, including a French couple.
President Ould Daddah went straight from the airport to King Hassan's palace. The two men reportedly discussed the present situation in Western Sahara and the Mauritanian leader's visit to France. President Ould Daddah said in Paris that President Giscard d'Estaing had agreed in principle to the continued supply of French military equipment to Mauritania. The Mauritanian leader was keen to get the reassurance on arms supplies because of the Western Sahara conflict.