U.S. Relations With Mauritania

Bureau of African Affairs
Fact Sheet
April 13, 2016

More information about Mauritania is available on the Mauritania Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


The United States was the first country to recognize Mauritania's independence from France in 1960. Since the late 1960s, U.S. cooperation with Mauritania has varied in response to political conditions. The United States engages with Mauritania on a wide array of issues, including counterterrorism, food security, trade promotion, and efforts to strengthen human rights and the rule of law. The Departments of State, Defense, and Justice are represented at the U.S. Embassy in Nouakchott.

U.S. Assistance to Mauritania

The U.S. condemned Mauritania's 2005 and 2008 military coups. It supported Mauritania's transition to democracy following the 2005 coup d’état, providing election-related assistance for voter education and provided elections support for the 2007 elections. Assistance other than humanitarian assistance to Mauritania was suspended after the 2008 coup. Following certification of the 2009 election by foreign observers, bilateral assistance restrictions were lifted. Mauritania is a member of the Trans-Sahara Counterterrorism Partnership (TSCTP) and receives security assistance to support its counterterrorism efforts.

Bilateral Economic Relations

The United States has limited, but growing trade and investment relations with Mauritania. The U.S.-North Africa Partnership for Economic Opportunity (NAPEO) is a regional public-private partnership that enhances the network of entrepreneurs and business leaders in the United States and each of the five Maghreb countries -- Algeria, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, and Tunisia. NAPEO is the North African regional component of Partners for a New Beginning, a collection of public-private partnerships committed to broadening and deepening engagement between the United States and local communities abroad.

Mauritania's Membership in International Organizations

Mauritania became a member of the United Nations in 1961. Mauritania and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the UN, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization.

Bilateral Representation

The U.S. Ambassador to Mauritania is Larry Andre, Jr.; other principal embassy officials are listed in the Department's Key Officers List.

Mauritania maintains an embassy in the United States at 2129 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008 (tel. 202-232-5700, fax 202-232-5701).

More information about Mauritania is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

Department of State Mauritania Page
Department of State Key Officers List
CIA World Factbook Mauritania Page
USAID Mauritania Page
History of U.S. Bilateral Relations
Human Rights Reports
International Religious Freedom Reports
Trafficking in Persons Reports
Narcotics Control Reports
Investment Climate Statements
Library of Congress Country Studies
Travel and Business Information