Mali’s military authorities have expelled the French ambassador Florence Parly in response to the French foreign minister’s “outrageous” statements on the transitional government. France announced the recall of Joel Meyer, who was given 72 hours to leave the country.
Last Monday, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian described the Mali junta as “illegitimate” and “out of control.” Since the army seized power in August 2020, relations between the two nations have worsened.
Tensions rose further last month when the junta reneged on a commitment to conduct elections in February and said that it would remain in power until 2025.
France has threatened to withdraw its soldiers from Mali, where they are battling an Islamist insurgency. The landlocked West African country was a former French colony. France’s Defense Minister, Florence Parly, has accused Mali’s leadership of increasing “provocations” against France.
The Mali government stated in a statement carried on national television that Mr. Meyer “was called and told of a decision by the government inviting him to leave the national territory within 72 hours after unfriendly and offensive statements made lately by the French foreign affairs minister.”
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