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Mali (Q&A - Excerpt from the daily press briefing - May 15, 2013)

Q : Can you tell me what France is expecting from the Mali aid conference? The first meeting didn’t produce the expected results. Are people of goodwill getting more actively involved? What’s your view of the political situation on the ground? Are elections possible in July?

A : Regarding your first question, Laurent Fabius spoke this morning in Brussels at the opening of the donors’ conference, which is bringing together, around the Malians, the countries of the European Union and those of the African Union: “We’re going to provide substantial aid to Mali, probably close to €2 billion (…). Since February, we’ve resumed our bilateral cooperation: implementation of an emergency plan – particularly in the liberated areas –, support for the Malian state to allow essential public services (budget aid, debt conversion) to get up and running again, gradual resumption of structural projects to do with governance, education, health, rural development, infrastructures and private sector support. In the framework of this conference, and in response to the Plan for the Sustainable Recovery of Mali, we’ll commit ourselves to the 2013-2014 period, as we’ll announce today. On top of this bilateral aid, France will contribute significantly through her multilateral aid”.

Regarding your second question, dialogue and the reconciliation of all political and social forces are key factors in finding a lasting way out of the crisis. The National Dialogue and Reconciliation Commission, which has just been officially set up, is representative of Mali’s diversity. It now has an essential role to play.

As regards your last question, on elections, Laurent Fabius confirmed yesterday the need to adhere to the timetable. The holding of free, transparent, credible elections is essential for the success of the transition and the political legitimacy of the new authorities. These elections must take place throughout Mali.



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