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5 Feb. (EUROPA PRESS) –
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Mali for the first time on Monday amid a rapprochement between the Kremlin and the African country’s military coup junta, as the military has distanced itself from the Western community to the point of calling for the departure of the French troops participating in the fight against jihadist groups on their territory.
Since the last coup in May 2021, the junta has staged a rapprochement with Russia, including the deployment of mercenaries from the Wagner Group, which has been denounced on numerous occasions by Western countries.
Lavrov arrives in the country with the intention, according to the official statement of the Malian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “to promote a new dynamic in relations of friendship and bilateral cooperation” during the two days that he will remain there, after the invitation extended to him at the end of that same year his Malian counterpart, Abdoulaye Diop, during a meeting in Moscow.
Lavrov will thus meet both his counterpart and the current strongman of the African country and “transition president”, Colonel Assimi Goita, during meetings aimed at “strengthening the association in priority areas, including defense and security, as well as economic and commercial and cultural cooperation”.
“The visit will strengthen the high-level political dialogue between the two countries and will renew their mutual commitment to consolidate the strategic association for peace, security and development,” concludes the Foreign Affairs statement, published on its Facebook page.
The Russian minister will arrive in Mali after the first leg of a tour that has taken him to South Africa, Angola and Eritrea. Morocco, Tunisia and Mauritania await him.