June 20, 2024

U.S. official Rashad Hussain travels to Mauritania to meet with President and discuss religious freedom, as Wendy Sherman meets with UK Minister for North Africa James Cleverly

U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain
U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain

U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom Rashad Hussain will embark on his first trip abroad to Nouakchott, Mauritania, February 7-9, to discuss a wide range of issues, and meet with President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani.

On February 9 at the “Making Peace for the World” Conference, Ambassador Hussain will deliver keynote remarks on addressing religious freedom threats around the globe, promoting mutual tolerance and respect, and establishing and maintaining just and equal societies.

“During his trip, Ambassador Hussain will also meet with the President of Mauritania, Minister of Islamic Affairs, and Minister of Justice, along with other senior government officials, to discuss religious freedom and other democracy and human rights-related issues,” the U.S. State Department said in a statement.

The trip is part of the Biden administration’s engagement with Africa. On Monday, Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman met with UK Minister of State for Middle East, North Africa, and North America James Cleverly on Monday in Washington, D.C.

“Deputy Secretary Sherman and Minister Cleverly discussed continued diplomatic engagement to prevent further Russian aggression against Ukraine, as well as deterrents including sanctions and security assistance to partners and Allies in the region,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement. “The two also discussed ongoing UK-EU negotiations to preserve the gains of the Belfast/Good Friday agreement, the PRC’s troubling economic practices, maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific through the AUKUS trilateral security partnership with Australia, and the importance of ensuring Iran returns to mutual compliance with the JCPOA.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously on Monday to confirm Alice Albright as the next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

“Congratulations to Alice on this momentous achievement,” said MCC’s Acting CEO Mahmoud Bah.  “We are all very excited to welcome Alice to the MCC family here in the United States and around the world. Alice brings a wealth of experience and expertise to lead the agency at a critical time in our history. I am thankful to our staff and the leadership team for their tireless collaboration, ensuring a smooth and successful transition while delivering our poverty reduction mission.”

The Millennium Challenge Corporation is an independent U.S. government agency working to reduce global poverty through economic growth. Created in 2004, MCC provides time-limited grants and assistance to countries that meet rigorous standards for good governance, fighting corruption and respecting democratic rights.

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