President Moktar Ould Daddah of Mauritania has called for neighbouring Algeria to respect his country's right to "a free and sovereign life".
GV EXT: Conference hall.
GV INT: Delegates seated.
SV: President Moktar Ould Daddah speaking.
SV: Madame Daddah seated PAN TO delegates seated listening. (FOUR SHOTS)
SCU: President Daddah speaking.
GV: Delegates seated in conference hall.
During the congress, the President also announced a series of austerity measures in connection with the civil service and other nationalised organisations. And he also said Mauritania would be "opened" for foreign investment. He mentioned he was re-shuffling his cabinet and changes were announced in Nouakchott on Friday (27 January). Several portfolios were switched round, but no new faces were introduced.
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Background: President Moktar Ould Daddah of Mauritania has called for neighbouring Algeria to respect his country's right to "a free and sovereign life". The President made his peace call, when he addressed a special conference of the Mauritanian People's Party (PPM) in the capital of Nouakchott on Wednesday (25 January). The two countries are in dispute over the further of the Western Sahara, and the congress was called to review the situation.
SYNOPSIS: The congress, which lasted for just one day, was attended by more than 900 delegates. All were members of the PPM, the country's only political party.
The key speech came from President Daddah, who is also General Secretary of the PPM.
Watched by Madame Daddah, the President, referring to the conflict in the Western Sahara, praised France and Morocco for the support they had given Mauritania. "I wish to express sour sincere gratitude", he said "for the assistance they have given us". He also thanked what were described as "certain Arab countries", who had helped Mauritania, but who wished to keep their support "discreet". He then denounced "Algerian expansionism", saying that Algeria claimed not only Mauritania also but "almost all countries, who had a common frontier" with it.
The Mauritanian people, he said respected Algeria "very much", but he doubted whether this call for peace would be any better received than previous appeals made by him. And he added that he felt further actions against Mauritania were already being planned.