It is rare for a country to be born twice, but that was the case for Mali, whose very existence was threatened seven months ago. This past Sunday it found the strength to elect a new president in an atmosphere of renewed calm and security.
My warmest congratulations and ardent hopes go out to the people of Mali and to President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita for this promising rebirth. Bolstered by democratic legitimacy and taking over from the transition authorities, who deserve thanks, he must now – together with the new government and the new assembly that will be elected – help the country recover and ensure its unity and development through a very broad-based dialogue.
Along with the countries of Africa, the European Union and the international community, France stood by Mali at a time when it was necessary to act to stop its destruction. It will remain by its side as a loyal friend, now that it is necessary to rebuild. All democracies should welcome Sunday’s election in Mali, which was both a great feat and a victory for peace.
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