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Mauritania Table of Contents



The historic contradictions and competing interests involved in formulating foreign policy have allowed Mauritania's several heads of state to justify a monopoly on foreign policy decision making. As a result, Mauritania's foreign policy, like that of other developing states, represents at once an extension of the president's personality and the embodiment of an otherwise fragile state. Accordingly, Mauritania's foreign policy over the years avoided ideological posturing in favor of pragmatic responses to domestic and foreign pressures. That was particularly true in the mid-1980s when harsh economic realities and the ongoing conflict in the Western Sahara compelled the Taya government to strengthen its ties to France; continue its balancing act between Morocco, Algeria, and the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR); and solicit support from as many donors as would come to its aid.

Data as of June 1988