Relations with the United States have never been close. The United States recognized Mauritanian independence when it was proclaimed in November 1960, but the first two ambassadors shared accreditation with Senegal and resided in Dakar. A United States embassy opened in July 1962 in Nouakchott and was headed by a chargé d'affaires. Only in 1972 were resident ambassadors exchanged.
Since the onset of the drought in the mid-1970s, Mauritania has cultivated ties with Western Europe and Eastern Europe as possible sources of aid and investment. Mauritania's ties with Spain, which until 1975 were dominated by the fate of the Western Sahara, remained cordial in spite of repeated violations of Mauritania's fishing regulations by Spanish boats. The two countries have formed a joint economic and technical cooperation commission, a move reflecting the importance Spain gave to its aid and cooperation program with Mauritania.
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