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Mali : Morocco relies on its contribution to the G5 Sahel to compete with Algeria

While the Malian president has not visited Morocco since 2013, his new Prime Minister has gone on a two-day work trip to Rabat. And although Bamako is politically influenced by Algeria, the Kingdom can still rely on its contribution to maintain security in the Sahel region.

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Malian Prime Minister and his Moroccan counterpart./Ph. MAP

Malian Prime Minister Soumeylou Boubeye Maïga is currently in Morocco. «It is a visit to thank and recognize the role played by Morocco in stabilizing the country, especially as the Moroccan security forces recently led units of the Malian forces to fight against terrorist groups», Ali Ansari head of the Timbuktu Center for Studies told Yabiladi. He added :

«Indeed, the Kingdom is the first country to stand by Mali while it remains politically influenced by Algeria. This is evidenced through the fact that the Malian president, Ibrahim Boubaker Keita has not visited Morocco in years while King Mohammed VI visited Bamako twice in 2013 and 2014. In Mali, Algiers is a source of problems and it insists on providing a solution, which is contradictory».

Meanwhile, the Malian president visited Algeria in March and September 2015.

Politically influenced by Algeria

«Politically speaking, Soumeylou Boubeye Maïga’s visit to Morocco is not necessarily meant to do wonders. And that is because of the growing influence of Algeria. That said, the security ties should change, knowing that the Prime Minister has already served as a Defense Minister».

In addition to that, Rabat participated to the Brussels summit, on February the 23rd, held to discuss the financing of the G5 Sahel. An opportunity for Morocco to further consolidate its links with the Malian military body. Indeed, the Algerian constitution does not allow its army to be deployed outside its territory.

The head of the Timbuktu Center for Studies also indicated that the current Prime Minister is not going to hold this position for so long. Mali is expecting new presidential elections on the 29th of July of the current year :

«Soumeylou's predecessor, Idrissa Maïga, has been appointed director of President Keita's election campaign and is expected to return to office once the outgoing head of state's victory is officially declared.»

For the record, Soumeylou Boubeye Maïga went to Algeria on January the 13th, two weeks after being appointed Prime Minister.

Meeting his Moroccan counterpart on Wednesday, the Malian Prime Minister stated that  his «visit reflects the excellent diplomatic relations that tie Morocco to Mali, two sister countries united by history, culture, economy and science».

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