Mali military ruler ‘holds phone talks with Putin’

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Mali’s interim President Col Assimi Goïta said he held a telephone conversation on Wednesday with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In a post on Twitter, Mr Goïta said: “We spoke of the Russian Federation’s support for Mali’s political transition, and I praised the quality of our partnership, which respects Mali’s sovereignty and the aspirations of its people.”

On Tuesday, Mali’s air force officially unveiled several new combat aircraft supplied by Russia during a ceremony presided over by Mr Goïta at Bamako’s international airport.

READ ALSO:  West African leaders to discuss Mali crisis in Ghana

The Soviet-era warplanes are the latest batch of military deliveries from Moscow under close ties forged between Russia and Mali since the Sahel state suffered a coup in August 2020.

Mali has pivoted towards Russia after falling out with the West, particularly France, which is opposed to the presence of Wagner mercenaries in the Sahel country.

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