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Mali: at the UN, France supports sanctions, Russia calls for understanding

France on Monday gave the UN its support for the sanctions decided against Mali this weekend by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Russia claiming for its part for understanding to the with regard to the Malian authorities.

“Let us show the necessary respect for our Malian colleagues. Let us support their understandable efforts to restore order in their country and the most suitable partners for it, ”said Russian Deputy Ambassador to the UN, Dmitry Polyanskyi, at a meeting of the Security Council on the West Africa and the Sahel.

“Of course, we would like the deadlines for the elections not to be postponed. But we understand the difficulties facing the Malian authorities in preparing for the elections.

Without the return of state authority in several regions of the country, the results of the polls cannot be considered reliable, ”warned the Russian diplomat. Referring to the sanctions decided against the Malian military junta (closure of borders, economic measures, etc.), the French ambassador to the UN, Nicolas de Rivière, for his part underlined “the full support (of France) for the efforts of Cédéao ”.

The Malian authorities, “once again”, “did not respect the demands of ECOWAS and their own commitments” with regard to a rapid return to a democratic process in Mali, he said.

On behalf of the United States, Ambassador Richard Mills confined himself to indicating that his country had “taken note” of the decisions of the ECOWAS, “under consideration” in Washington. “We are deeply concerned about the lack of progress in Mali” and “urge the Malian transitional authorities to return to democracy in due course”, he added.

UN envoy for West Africa and the Sahel, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, “congratulated ECOWAS for its active engagement with the crises in Mali and Guinea”, two countries now under military control.

“The resurgence of coups d’état, especially in West Africa, are often the consequence of political practices that are totally out of step with the aspirations of the populations”, he said, calling for “a return to order constitutional law as soon as possible ”in the countries concerned. The UN Security Council is due to discuss Mali specifically on Tuesday at a regular meeting.

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