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Mali, Russia foreign ministers hold talks in Moscow

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, right, and Malian Foreign Minister Abdoulaye Diop arrive in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, February 28, 2024   -  
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Maxim Shipenkov/AP


Mali's foreign minister Abdoulaye Diop was in Moscow on Wednesday for talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

Addressing a press conference, the two leaders vowed to strengthen their bilateral security partnership.

Fighters from the Russian group Wagner helped the army made inroads against separatist Tuareg forces in northern Mali at the end of last year, including at Kidal.

“As for the topic of security, as I already said, we are actively interacting in the military and military-technical sphere, and we see how Mali’s defence capability is being strengthened thanks to the work of our instructors, and the training of personnel on the territory of the Russian Federation for the Malian armed forces, and thanks, of course, to the supply of Russian (military) equipment,” said Sergey Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister.

On the humanitarian front, Lavrov said that Moscow had supplied Bamako with 25,000 tons of wheat and 17,000 tons of fuel in January alone. 

A deadly Islamist insurgency and regional sanctions have impacted Mali's finances.

“We discussed Mali's needs for humanitarian assistance, our friends thanked us for the supply of wheat - 50,000 tons last year, 25,000 tons this year in January, fertilizers - also in December last year 25,000 tons, and in January of this year 17,000 tons of diesel fuel were delivered (to Mali). We will definitely continue this support,” said Lavrov.

Mali has struggled to contain an Islamist extremist insurgency sweeping the Sahel since 2012.

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