Mali expels Paris envoy over 'hostile and outrageous' remarks

TEHRAN, Jan. 31 (MNA) – Mali on Monday gave the French ambassador 72 hours to leave the country after "hostile and outrageous" comments by former colonial power France about its transitional government, media reported.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian had said on Friday that Mali’s military government was “out of control” amid escalating tensions between the West African state and its European partners following two coups.

According to Al-Jazeera, relations between Mali and its former colonizer deteriorated this month when the military government went back on an agreement to organize elections in February and proposed holding power until 2025.

Rebel officers led a coup in August 2020 that toppled Mali’s elected leader Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, who was facing angry protests at failures to stem armed violence.

It has also deployed Russian private military contractors, which some European countries have said is incompatible with their mission.

Mali asked Denmark last week to withdraw its troops belonging to a European task force in the country, which set off a fresh crisis.

France asked Mali to let the Danish troops stay, and Mali’s government spokesman told France to keep its “colonial reflexes” to itself.

Denmark stands in full solidarity with France,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod said in a tweet on Friday.

News Code 183467


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