By Mohamed al-Bakkai
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania (AA) – Mauritania on Tuesday denied participation in an environmental training program hosted by Israel.
On Sunday, Israeli television channel i24News said Mauritania was among participants in a training program hosted by Israel to help African countries deal with desertification in the Sahara region.
"Among the prominent participants in the program is the niece of Chad's foreign minister that Israel has renewed diplomatic ties with in recent years. Other representatives from the countries of the region came from Djibouti, Niger, Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Nigeria, and Senegal," the broadcaster said, citing a statement by Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen.
But the Mauritanian Ministry of Environment categorically denied the report, terming it as an attempt “to mislead the public opinion.”
In 1999, Mauritania established diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv, but their ties were suspended in 2009 following an Israeli military assault on the Gaza Strip.
In 2010, Mauritania expelled the Israeli ambassador from Nouakchott and officially severed ties with Israel.
Writing by Ahmed Asmar