Mauritania's decision to recall its ambassador to Israel earlier this week marked the "first step" to cutting ties with the Jewish state, an adviser to the president said on Saturday.
"Mauritania's decision to recall its ambassador in Israel is a first step towards severing ties with this aggressive entity," said Cheikh Ben Horma Ould Ben Babana, adviser to the president of Mauritania's ruling High Council of State.
"This relationship between Mauritania and the Israeli entity disturbs and embarrasses Mauritanians," Ben Babana told reporters in Cairo after talks with Arab League officials.
Mauritania said on Monday it had recalled its ambassador for "consultations", days after protesters took to the streets of the capital Nouakchott to demand the Islamic country cut diplomatic ties with Israel over its military offensive in the Gaza Strip.
Mauritania is one of three Arab countries to have diplomatic relations with Israel, along with Egypt and Jordan although Palestine is still under occupation.
Ties between Israel and Mauritania were the legacy of a former regime and had been established for "personal reasons", Ben Babana said.
A source close to the ruling military junta said on Monday: "Our position as regards cutting diplomatic ties with Israel will depend on how things move on the ground."
Political parties called for then-President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi to break off ties with Israel to reflect anger over events in Gaza.
Last Mod: 11 Ocak 2009, 14:56