Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu calls for democratic elections “as soon as possible” in the West African country during his meeting with army leaders and UN officials in Bamako.
Turkey has called for democratic elections in Mali and said it will always stand by the Mali people for the establishment of constitutional order after the military coup last month in the country.
“Mali is a friendly and brotherly country for us. We have always stood by Mali and its brotherly people in difficult days,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who is on an official visit to Bamako, told reporters.
He said Turkey will provide the necessary contribution towards Mali’s cooperation with the international community.
Noting that he particularly wanted to visit Mali during the “difficult period” the country faces now, Cavusoglu said he also wanted to show Turkey’s solidarity with the people of Mali, adding that Mali has unfortunately faced different problems over the years.
Mali’s Ibrahim Boubacar Keita resigned as president and dissolved parliament last month after mutinying soldiers detained him at gunpoint, rocking the West African country that is in the grip of a militant insurgency and civil unrest.
Keita left the country for medical treatment in Abu Dhabi amid talks about a transition back to civilian rule.
Keita, 75, was hospitalised in the capital Bamako, six days after he was released from detention by the ruling junta, which seized power on August 18.
Turkey calls for elections
Cavusoglu underlined that Mali’s stability, security, and economic stability are very important for Turkey, West Africa, and the entire continent.
Cavusoglu said that during his visit, he met with the members and head of the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, as well as Mahamat Saleh Annadif, the UN special representative of the secretary-general for Mali, and Pierre Buyoya, the African Union high representative for Mali.
“We desire Mali to complete the transition process smoothly. It is important for the future of Mali to take the necessary steps to establish a constitutional order and hold democratic elections as soon as possible,” he said.
Support to UN mission
Cavusoglu said Turkey has supported the UN’s Mali mission so far, and contributed to its budget this year, adding that two Turkish police officers have also served in the West African country.
Cavusoglu stressed that Turkey will continue to support Mali’s fight against terrorism as well as its fight against the novel coronavirus outbreak, adding that his country delivered ventilators and N-95 masks to Mali.
Following his visit to Mali, Cavusoglu will also visit Guinea-Bissau and Senegal on September 10-11.