Our sole objective in Mali is to fight terrorism, says Minister

Mali – Reply given by M. Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a question in the National Assembly

Paris, 1 February 2022

Thank you for the tribute you paid to our ambassador Joël Meyer. I was very pleased to note that it was widely shared and supported by virtually all the European Union foreign ministers. Thank you also for recalling the situation of our community in Mali. We’re obviously being very vigilant on the issue.

But beyond this, I’d like to say to you that, in the present circumstances, it’s Mali which is isolating itself. Because the issue before us isn’t a France-Mali one, it’s an issue between the international community and Mali. It’s an issue between the Africans and Mali. It’s an issue between the Europeans, the Africans and Mali. It’s an issue for our own collective security. Because there’s one thing you’ve got to be sure of, as I said earlier: we aren’t going to stop fighting terrorism.

But on one hand, we note a political shift in Mali: what is this junta, which wants to remain in power for another five years, after two years following two successive coups, and preaches about the Constitution? So we’re faced with this political shift, which raises questions. And we’re also faced with a military shift, because for some time now we’ve noted obstacles to the proper functioning of the armed forces, be they French armed forces or those supporting us, particularly Europeans who – I’m thinking of the Danes – have had to leave the territory.

So faced with that situation, we note that the situation can’t remain as it is, and we’ve begun consultations with both our African and European friends to see what decisions we’re going to have to take to continue fighting terrorism, because that’s our sole objective./.

Published on 02/02/2022

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