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Mali coup leader and Russian president Putin discuss ties

Mali’s interim president and Russian president Vladimir Putin have discussed economic and security co-operation during a phone call.

“During a telephone conversation, I spoke to President Putin about our co-operation in the economic, security and counter-terrorism fields. I expressed my gratitude for all the support Russia is giving Mali,” Mali’s Col Assimi Goita said in a statement published on X.

This was echoed by Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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In a statement on Telegram, it said the two leaders “reaffirmed their mutual commitment to further enhance trade and economic relations, cooperation in providing security, and fighting terrorism. The Mali side expressed appreciation for the diverse assistance provided by Russia”.

This is the third phone conversation between the two leaders in months.

Russian mercenaries from the Wagner Group are playing a prominent role in the Malian army’s ongoing offensive against Tuareg ex-rebels in the town of Kidal, including the army’s capture of the strategic town of Anefis on 6 October after days of heavy fighting.

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