By Mohamed al-Bakay
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (AA) - Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met in Nouakchott on Friday to discuss means of strengthening bilateral ties.
At a joint press conference held after the meeting, Wang told reporters that he and the Mauritanian president had discussed ways of “stepping up bilateral relations and transforming mutual trust into fruitful cooperation”.
“China strongly supports all issues related to legitimate Mauritanian interests and Nouakchott’s efforts -- regional and international -- to promote peace and stability in the region,” the Chinese FM added.
Wang also said that his country would continue assisting Mauritania and would encourage Chinese firms to invest in the North African country.
“We want to support Mauritania’s industrial development and economic diversification with a view to promoting national self-sufficiency,” he asserted.
Wang went on to briefly review the history of China-Mauritania relations, noting the role played by China in the construction of Nouakchott’s Friendship Port.
China is one of Mauritania’s main trade partners, with total trade volumes between them amounting to $1.6 billion in 2016, according to Mauritania’s Economy and Finance Ministry.