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Statement issued by Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs – Preliminary agreement calling for the holding of a presidential election and inclusive peace talks in Mali (June 18 2013)

"I welcome the signing in Ouagadougou by the authorities in Bamako and the armed movements in northern Mali of a preliminary agreement calling for the holding of a presidential election and inclusive peace talks in Mali.

This agreement represents a major step forward in resolving the crisis in Mali. With a view toward the presidential election on July 28, it reconciles respect for Mali’s territorial integrity and the recognition of a specific approach to addressing the problems in the northern part of the country.

I call on the Malian parties, who have now been brought together around a joint project, to fully implement this agreement in the country’s best interests. France, like the international community, guarantor of the agreement, will stand alongside the Malian people.

I pay tribute to those who facilitated the conclusion of this agreement, in particular Burkina Faso, which acted on behalf of ECOWAS, as well as the African Union, the UN and the EU.

In six months, from the moment that France intervened when Mali was at the very edge of the terrorist abyss until now, good work has been done. Security is generally being maintained, funding for economic development has been mobilized and democratic aspirations will be expressed at the elections. I sincerely welcome the progress that has been made!"


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