Morocco and Mali mend ties as Bamako joins royal Sahel initiative

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Following Mali's recent accession to King Mohammed VI's Atlantic access initiative for Sahel countries, the two nations continue to strengthen their relationship. Mali took center stage as the guest of honor at the 6th edition of the International Festival of North Africa and the Sahel, held in Fez from January 11-14 by the Aman Foundation for Sustainable Development.

High-ranking officials from Mali's Ministry of Crafts, Culture, Hotel Industry, and Tourism, along with representatives from the Malian Embassy in Rabat, formed the official delegation. Notably, they also participated in the Amazigh New Year celebrations, as confirmed by the Malian Ministry in a social media press release.

This gesture of cultural exchange comes in the wake of a December 1st letter by Tuareg civil society residents in Morocco to the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Seeking the kingdom's mediation in the Mali conflict, the letter implored Morocco to intervene against the «genocidal crimes» allegedly committed by the Malian army and Russian Wagner militias in the Azawad region.

However, the Marrakech meeting on December 23, centered on the Atlantic access project, saw a more positive tone from Mali's Foreign Minister, Abdoulaye Diop. He lauded the initiative as a «fraternal and united action» aligned with the aspirations of both Sahelian authorities and citizens.

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