BAMAKO /Mali/, February 7. /TASS/. Russia will render further assistance to Mali to enhance the combat capability of the republic’s armed forces, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said following talks with his Malian counterpart Abdoulaye Diop on Tuesday.
"We will continue to provide the necessary bilateral assistance to our friends not only in the spheres of the economy, trade development, and humanitarian aid, but also in increasing the Malian Armed Forces’ combat effectiveness and training servicemen and law enforcement officers," Russia’s top diplomat said, adding that the Malians’ "specific requests are being met on a systematic basis."
According to Lavrov, Moscow and Bamako agree that security provision is a key challenge for the Malians at this point. "It is by addressing these issues that we should be able to establish a solid foundation for holding future events, including regular elections. We will support Mali in every possible way in the implementation of the set goals and we will do so while discussing relevant issues at the United Nations Security Council."
"As you know, a UN assistance mission is currently active in Mali, and the [UN] Security Council reviews its mandate from time to time, and certainly, this should be done exclusively with full consideration for the wishes being put forward by the host country of the mission, in this case Mali," the Russian foreign minister concluded.