The government of Mauritania was overthrown on 6 August 2008, in a military coup d'état led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. On 16 April 2009, General Aziz resigned from the military to run for president in the 19 July elections, which he won. The elections were generally recognized by the international community. The next Presidential elections will take place in 2014. Municipal and parliamentary elections have been postponed several times since fall 2011, but are now slated to take place in October 2013.
In Mauritania, Canada is represented by the Embassy of Canada in Rabat, Morocco. In addition, Canada’s Honorary Consul in Nouakchott provides assistance in consular affairs.
Mauritania is represented in Canada by a permanent mission in New York City, U.S.A.
Bilateral relations between Canada and Mauritania are growing. Canada supports a stable, democratic Mauritania that respects human rights.
With regard to development assistance to Mauritania, Canada has provided technical assistance to the Mauritanian Government to organize elections and has provided assistance to build Mauritanian civil society’s capacity to participate in the democratic process. In 2011, $100,000 was provided through the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) for projects aimed at supporting rights-based programs, including accessibility for handicapped persons and the support for women victims of violence.
During the 2012 crisis in the Sahel, Canada provided over $57.5 million to the region through UN organizations such as the World Food Programme and UNICEF, as well as the International Committee of the Red Cross and Canadian non-governmental organizations, to support food and nutrition assistance to people in need. Canada helped improve access to food and provided lifesaving nutritional support through a number of activities, including the distribution of emergency food rations, supporting community-based treatment of acute malnutrition, and improving access to safe water for men, women and children facing this very complex humanitarian situation
Canada is also providing Mauritania with limited support for capacity-building in its security sector.
Canada’s commercial relationship with Mauritania is dominated by strong presence of Canadian companies in the mining sector. Otherwise, trade in goods and equipment between Canada and Mauritania is very modest. In 2012, our bilateral trade with Mauritania was C$20.1 million. It increased by 24.6% compared with 2011. Canadian exports were C$19.9 million and imports were C$189.355 in 2012. In 2012, Canada’s main merchandise exports to Mauritania were machinery, electronic and electrical equipment, scientific and precision instruments, and rubber. In 2012, Canada’s main imports from Mauritania were electronic and electrical equipment, fish and seafood, woven apparel, and scientific and precision instruments.
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development recommends anyone considering travel to Mauritania to check its travel advice and encourages travellers to register with its free Registration of Canadians Abroad service when outside of Canada.
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