France welcomes the unanimous adoption yesterday by Mali’s Parliament of the road map for the transition, which makes provision for the holding of elections and the opening of negotiations with the north. In accordance with the Security Council’s request in its resolution 2085, this progress marks a crucial and positive step in the political process.
Tangible progress must now be made in this process. In this respect, France welcomes President Traoré’s statement announcing the holding of elections in Mali by July 31, 2013. They must take place as swiftly as possible, with the highest possible voter turnout involving all Malians.
The Malian authorities must also, without further delay, engage in discussions with the legitimate representatives of the populations of the north (locally elected representatives, civil society) and the non-terrorist armed groups which recognize Mali’s territorial integrity. Only a dialogue between the north and the south will make it possible to re-establish the Malian state in the north of the country.
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