The government of Mauritania was overthrown on 6 August 2008, in a military coup d'état led by General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. He resigned from the military to run for president in the 19 July 2009 elections, which he won. On 21 June 2014, President Abdel Aziz was re-elected for a second five-year mandate. Although the main the opposition parties boycotted the presidential elections, the results were generally recognized by the international community. Municipal and parliamentary elections took place in November/December 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.
During the 2012 crisis in the Sahel, Canada provided C$65.4 million to the region through UN organizations such as the World Food Program 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 through Canada’s Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program. Canada and Mauritania also cooperate, in the multilateral context, in NATO's Mediterranean Dialogue and in the Global Forum against Terrorism (GCTF).
Canada’s commercial relationship with Mauritania is dominated by the strong presence of Canadian companies in the mining sector. Otherwise, trade in goods and equipment between Canada and Mauritania is very modest. In 2013, our bilateral trade with Mauritania was C$18.8 million. Canadian exports were almost C$18.6 million and imports were C$267,950. Mauritania offers business opportunities in the mining and infrastructure sectors that are worthy of Canada’s interest. Mauritania’s economy depends heavily on its agricultural, mining, and fishing sectors. Additionally, the country is heavily dependent on foreign aid.
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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