Amid rising tensions between Mali and its international partners, Mali’s military government on Monday asked the French ambassador Joel Meyer to leave the country.
The action puts into question a French-led anti-terrorist military operation present in Mali at the request of Malian leaders.
A French diplomat said the French government took note of Mali’s decision, and reiterated France’s commitment to the stabilisation and development of the Sahel region, without elaborating. The diplomat spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive diplomatic situation.
France said it was recalling its ambassador from Mali following Mali’s decision to expel the French ambassador, the French Foreign Affairs ministry said in a statement.
Earlier in the day, Mali’s government gave the French ambassador 72 hours to leave the country over “outrageous” comments by the French authorities about its transitional government.
This latest episode in the diplomatic crisis between Mali and foreign partners comes days after the Malian government ordered Danish soldiers deployed in the French-led Takuba military operation to leave Mali. Also earlier this month, regional group ECOWAS imposed sanctions on Mali and Mali’s leaders expelled its representative from the country.
Tensions between Mali and its European and regional allies have been mounting in recent weeks, as Mali’s interim leader Colonel Assimi Goita has delayed elections until 2026, solidified his control and showed reluctance to uphold Mali’s international agreements.
The Malian government summoned French Ambassador Joel Meyer on Monday and said he had 72 hours to leave the country, according to a Malian government statement announced on state television.
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