Mali summons French ambassador over Macron feedback

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BAMAKO, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Mali’s overseas ministry summoned France’s ambassador to Bamako on Tuesday over feedback by President Emmanuel Macron that it stated had been unfriendly and unpleasant.

This is the newest salvo in a tense dispute between Mali and its key navy companion France over experiences Bamako might recruit Russian mercenaries as Paris reshapes its 5,000-strong counter-terrorism mission within the area. learn extra

Mali’s prime minister has accused France of abandoning it within the joint combat in opposition to Islamist insurgents. Macron final week rejected the cost and questioned the legitimacy of the Malian authorities overseeing a transition to elections after two coups in simply over a yr. learn extra

In response, the Malian overseas ministry stated it had summoned the French ambassador to tell him of the authorities’ indignation and disapproval.

At the assembly, Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop “strongly protested (Macron’s) regrettable remarks, which are likely to harm the development of friendly relations,” the ministry stated in an announcement.

It stated Diop additionally referred to as for the 2 sides to take a constructive strategy and prioritise countering the insurgency within the area.

Violence within the Sahel, a band of arid land that borders the south fringe of the Sahara Desert, has intensified in recent times regardless of the presence of 1000’s of United Nations, regional and Western troops.

Diplomatic and safety sources have instructed Reuters that Mali’s year-old navy junta is near recruiting the Russian Wagner Group, and France has launched a diplomatic drive to thwart it, saying such an association is incompatible with a continued French presence.

Reporting by Paul Lorgerie and Tiemoko Diallo; writing by Alessandra Prentice; enhancing by Richard Pullin

French President Emmanuel Macron reacts during a joint press conference with Niger's President Mohamed Bazoum following a video summit with leaders of G5 Sahel countries, at the Elysee presidential Palace, in Paris July 9, 2021. Stephane De Sakutin/ Pool via REUTERS