MOSCOW, August 13 (Itar-Tass) - The victory of Mali’s former prime minister Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in the runoff presidential elections is believed to put an end to the crisis that erupted in that country following separatist riots in Mali’s northern provinces, Russian president’s African envoy Mikhail Margelov, who chairs the international committee in the Russian Federation Council upper parliament house, said on Tuesday, citing preliminary results.
The Russian lawmaker, who knows Keita personally, has described him as an experienced politician. He was Prime Minister of Mali in 1994-2000. Keita “has friendly attitudes to Russia and plans to expand Russia-Mali ties in all areas, primarily in the economy,” Margelov said. “During our personal meeting, Keita said he planned to expand participants in investment projects, including in those areas where Russia has obvious competitive advantages.”
Margelov stressed the importance of the Mali leaders’ friendly disposition “for achieving our tasks in Africa.” “It is also important that Malian voters supported key provisions of his [Keita’s] programme promising to overcome the consequences of the war and to bring the country out of the political crisis,” Margelov added.