Peace process in Mali “is proceeding very well”

APS : Wednesday, 27 June 2018
PARIS-The peace process in Mali “is proceeding very well” and it would be better to bring it to a successful conclusion so that the Malian State redeploys, said Wednesday Foreign Minister Abdelkader Messahel.
“The process is proceeding very well. We must not confuse between the implementation of the Bamako agreements resulting from the Algiers process and counterterrorism. The two situations are different,” stressed Messahel in an interview with Radio France Internationale (RFI).
“The political process must be successful so that counterterrorism becomes further effective in the country,” he continued.
The Algerian top diplomat stated that “it would be better to bring the political process to a successful conclusion so that the State redeploys, Malian institutions recover their full potential and counterterrorism becomes more effective.”
Besides, Messahel categorically rejected the alleged presence in southern Algeria of Malian Iyad Ag Ghali, leader of the jihadist group coalition which conducts attacks in Mali, as reported by “local sources” according to the interviewer.
“We have no information that he is hiding in Algeria. I repeatedly told the French officials and your colleagues that this information is erroneous. This statement is the sole responsibility of its authors,” affirmed the FM.
Regarding the assessment of Malian President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita’s term (to end in July), Messahel said that “it is up to the Malians to make this assessment, not me.”
Algeria has “historical” relations with neighbouring countries and “excellent” cooperation with Mali, the FM concluded.

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