The Foreign Secretary, William Hague, is visiting Mali today to hold talks with members of the Malian Government. He is meeting the President and Prime Minister of Mali and the Minister for Foreign Affairs as well as representatives of local Malian communities. The Foreign Secretary will also meet the Commander of the African led intervention force (AFISMA), and the Deputy Commander of the European Union Training Mission to the Malian Armed Forces. During his visit, the Foreign Secretary will speak to some of the African troops transported to Mali by the UK’s C17 transport plane and will meet some of the UK military personnel supporting the aircraft.
Speaking on his arrival in Bamako, the Foreign Secretary said:
My visit, the first by a British Foreign Secretary, underlines the UK’s strong commitment to work with international partners to support Mali and countries in the region on countering terrorism and restoring security in the country. Mali is at the heart of a range of complex political, security and development challenges that have the potential to affect the wider region. It is vital that we work together to tackle these challenges.
I look forward to discussing the Malian Government’s plans to implement their roadmap towards elections and the restoration of full democratic rule. A more inclusive political process is critical for longer-term stability in Mali. The UK stands with the people of Mali as they seek to secure their country, re-build their livelihoods and resolve long-standing grievances.
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