France Receives Request From Mali to Review Defence Accords
© FLORENT VERGNESFrench soldiers patrol Timbuktu for the last time, in front of the Great Mosque, a few hours before the handover ceremony of the Barkhane military base to the Malian army in Timbuktu, on December 14, 2021.
© FLORENT VERGNES
PARIS (Sputnik) - The French Foreign Ministry confirmed on Tuesday that Mali has requested that France review bilateral defence agreements.
On Sunday, Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop told the France 24 broadcaster that the African country had officially requested Paris to reevaluate their bilateral defence pact.
"We have received a request of that sort, [and] are considering it," a French Foreign Ministry spokesperson said at a briefing when asked by Sputnik.
At the same time, the ministry did not reveal what exactly Mali wants to review.
Mali has experienced two military coups over the past two years. The first coup, which took place in August 2020, resulted in the ousting of former President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and the appointment of Ba N'daw as interim president.
Ba N'daw was arrested by soldiers on 24 May 2021. The Military Council, led by Vice President Assimi Goita, took over the country and announced presidential and parliamentary elections next year. The constitutional court of Mali declared Goita president of the transitional period.
In November, Diop said that the general election, which was supposed to end the transition period, will have to be postponed from February 2022 to 2025 due to the volatile security situation.
In 2013, France and Mali signed defence agreements after Paris launched a military operation to counter Islamist militants. The deal provides legal grounds for French troops to operate in the country.