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Mali's president Keita pays respects to unknown soldier in Paris

Oct 27, 2015 Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita recently met with President Hollande during a three-day state visit to France.

During the visit, President Keita was joined by French Junior Minister for Veterans, Jean-Marc Todeschini, for a wreath-laying ceremony at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris.

With a long-standing military and economic relationship, the two countries earlier this year agreed on new measures to reinforce security in Mali.

The French intervention in Mali halted the advancement of Al Qaeda-linked fighters, who had taken control of the northern two-thirds of the country.

While in France, President Keita met with his French counterpart, who announced the award the award of 360 million euros in aid to Mali.

The fund is aimed at rebuilding the northern region of the country, which has been torn apart by years of separatist Tuareg rebellion and attacks by al Qaeda-linked Islamists.

Speaking during the award, President Hollande said:

“I admit that the (peace) process is fragile, it demands vigilance. And if there is no economic support, no development, if poverty continues to strike, then we know that the same causes produce the same effects. And I am sure there will even be groups calling, once again, to armed actions, not to defend their rights but to breathe life into terrorism theories that we can see in other places,”

While responding to the gesture, President Keita reiterated that Mali’s economic recovery is a priority for his administration.

“Mali commits to a rapid rebuilding of the northern regions as a priority through the immediate implementation of emergency plans for the transition period. Mali commits to put in place the planned infrastructure in the Annex 3 of the peace agreement for economic recovery and balanced development of all northern regions, all Mali regions, taking into account their respective potential,”

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