Add-on

A brief add-on to the Libya post, and some updates on Mauritania’s relations with Israel .

  • Sources in Nouakchott are saying that results seem to indicate that the main purpose of accenting to Libyan mediation was to “secure Qadhafi’s endorsement.” It was said that Aziz told the Libyans he will be running. That Aziz and his Foreign Minister were able to go to Libya is significant and appears somewhat logical given Qadhafi’s belief that coups are “fine as long as they are staged peacefully”. It is important because this makes Libya, after Morocco, the only place outside of Mauritania the junta has been received. The junta is now preparing furiously to find a way to secure a visit from the AU president to Nouakchott, safely and quickly. A visit by the Brother Leader to Chinquiti has been canceled (because of “rugged terrain”); he would have prayed there during `eid. This would confer onto the junta a degree of legitimacy unseen since it took power. Or it could simply discredit Libya early in its AU term. He will not be staying in Nouakchott, but rather in Azougui, known for its Almoravid connections and for being in the middle of nowhere. The visit is causing  some embarrassment.
  • Sources proximate to the parties that traveled to the talks in Libya note that Qadhafi’s people are increasingly suffering from “Mauritania fatigue”. The tidal-wave of Mauritanians, “each of whom comes with a poem” to present to the Libyans before asking for money, is a source of exacerbation.
  • Sidi Ould Chiekh Abdallahi is being received in Libya, with ceremony where Libyan media is referring to him as الرئيس الموريتاني “the Mauritanian president”.
  • The Israeli embassy in Nouakchott is closed. (This process has gotten Mauritania some coverage outside of the Maghrebosphere this year.) Keep in mind that Gen. Abdel Aziz met with Ahmadinejad on the sidelines of the Doha summit. After the meeting, Abdel Aziz noted that the summit had allowed the Mauritanians to confer with partners with whom the Moorish state had been out of touch with and with whom relations would be re-kindled. The results seems to be Mauritania’s hardened stance on its Israel relations and Iran’s assistance in the medical field. For background, see here. Rumors that Ely Mohamed Vall criticized the move are incorrect, according to Taqadoumy. The Minister of Information told Sahara Media that the move was only a matter of time, as “the High Council of State never welcomeed relations with Tel Aviv, and it was necessary to cut them to be in line with aspirations at the Arab, Islamic and national levels, especially after the attacks on Gaza.”

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