Macron to assess Mali situation with foreign heads of state on Wednesday – government spokesman

FILE PHOTO: Weimar Triangle meeting to discuss the ongoing Ukraine crisis, in Berlin
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to the media ahead of a Weimar Triangle meeting to discuss the ongoing Ukraine crisis, in Berlin, Germany, February 8, 2022. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/Pool/File Photo

February 15, 2022

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Emmanuel Macron will chair a top-level meeting at the Elysee Palace on Wednesday evening to discuss further steps regarding the country’s military presence in Mali, said French government spokesman Gabriel Attal.

“Tomorrow evening, there will be a meeting between the French President and the heads of the states of partner countries to our presence in the Sahel region in the fight against terrorism,” Attal told reporters..

He added that any decision on France’s military presence in the African country needed to be taken in accordance with European partners, which are part of the Takuba task force, as well as with Mali’s neighbour states in Africa’s Sahel region.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Monday said conditions were no longer in place to continue the fight against Islamist militants in Mali and Macron has asked to re-organise French troops in the region.

Germany on Tuesday also said it saw no reason to keep its troops in Mali if the country delays presidential and legislative elections by four to five years.

Attal added on Tuesday that announcements about the future Mali strategy would be made “shortly after the meeting”, within a timeframe of “rather a matter of days than of weeks.”

(Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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