Senegalese Sall says compromise is still possible with Mali on election dates

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Senegalese President Macky Sall speaks during a press conference on the second day of a European Union (EU) and African Union (AU) summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Belgium, on February 18, 2022. John Thys/Pool via REUTERS//File Photo

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DAKAR, June 9 (Reuters) – Senegalese President Macky Sall said on Thursday he still hoped a compromise could be reached with Mali’s ruling military junta on a timetable for restoring democratic rule.

Mali’s military leaders, who overthrew the government in 2020, negotiated with the West African regional bloc over how long they would hold power. They announced this week that they had decided on 24 months from March 2022. read more

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said it regretted Mali’s decision to publish a timetable during the negotiations. Read more

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ECOWAS has imposed crippling sanctions on Mali since the beginning of this year, and a transition agreement would pave the way for them to be lifted.

“Obviously it was clumsy of them to publish (the timeline), but it was the product of an agreement with the mediator,” Sall said in an interview with French broadcasters RFI and France 24.

“We will see by July whether the conditions are in place for ECOWAS to lift the sanctions,” he said, explaining that regional heads of state had asked for more details on the proposal.

The next ECOWAS summit is scheduled for July 3.

Sall, who is also the chairman of the African Union, last week met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to try to release Russian and Ukrainian grain and fertilizer exports that have been blocked due to the Russian invasion of the country. Ukraine, causing a food crisis in Africa. Read more

Sall said on Thursday he had no reason to doubt Putin, who had told him Russia was ready to allow grain exports from Ukraine if the coast was cleared. Russia has previously said it is ready to allow ships carrying food to leave Ukraine in exchange for the lifting of some Western sanctions, a proposal Ukraine has called “blackmail”.

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Reporting by Bate Felix, writing by Nellie Peyton; edited by Grant McCool

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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