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PARIS, July 14 (Itar-Tass) - Russian lawmakers have accepted an invitation from the Malian side to take part in an observer mission at the presidential elections in that country appointed on July 28, Mikhail Margelov, the chairman of the Russian Federation Council upper parliament house’s international committee and Russian president’s special envoy for Africa, told Itar-Tass on Sunday.
“The republic’s leaders consider the support Russian is rendering to help the country consolidate its independence as very important and efficient,” he said. “Our French interlocutors today expressed gratitude for our assistance to Mali.”
Margelov was a guest of honour at the celebrations on the occasion of France’s national holiday, the Bastille Day. According to Margelov, representatives from African armies took part in the festivities.
Margelov’s Paris program includes talks at the French foreign ministry and a number of meetings at the French development agency. Thus, the Russian lawmaker will meet with the agency’s director, Anne Paugam, and director for African countries Yves Boudot. Earlier, Margelov met with Malian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Tieman Coulibaly, who also said Russian observer were welcome at the elections.
Mali’s transition government was forced by the international community to appoint elections on July 28. The country is facing problems with issuing elector cars, of which it needs about eight million. The process is behind the schedule. Moreover, some 500,000 people are now forced migrants after a military coup and subsequent seizure of Northern territories by Islamists and Tuareg separatists.