Press Statement by Under Secretary Following Meeting with President of Mali Ibrahim Boubacar Keita at Base B, Bamako, Mali

Under Secretary Hale and France’s Director General for Political and Security Affairs Philippe Errera

Thank you, we just had an excellent meeting, my colleague from the French Foreign Ministry and myself with President Keita.  Speaking for the United States, I can say that my primary message was to convey America’s commitment to Mali and the Algiers Accord.  We appreciate the progress that has been made and the commitments of the Government of Mali and the other parties, but I’m here to express our expectation that all the parties will work hard to meet the benchmarks for implementation set out by UN Security Council.

We also support the Government of Mali as it prepares for elections, for the National Assembly.  I’m sure and expect that they will be free and fair.  And we are committed to helping Mali counter the terrorist threat that it faces.  We also encourage improved civilian-military relations, to prevent human rights abuses.

We recognize the very important role that France is playing here.  And we took the unusual step of having this joint meeting to express our united sense of urgency for redoubled efforts to renew these goals and fulfill these commitments.

America stands with you, with Mali and the people of Mali, as you work toward a more stable, secure and prosperous country.