Home News Withdrawal From ECOWAS is Irreversible – Mali Foreign Minister

Withdrawal From ECOWAS is Irreversible – Mali Foreign Minister

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Mali’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abdoulaye Diop, has said that the country’s withdrawal from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is irreversible, despite reconciliation efforts by ECOWAS.

Diop, who spoke on state television ORTM on Monday, said his country, alongside Burkina Faso and Niger, will not ditch the recently formed Confederation of Sahelian States and return to ECOWAS.

ECOWAS, last week, appointed the Presidents of Senegal and Togo as mediators between the bloc and the three countries, who also have severe diplomatic alliances with France and the US.

The three countries’ decision to leave ECOWAS was in reaction to sanctions imposed on them by ECOWAS. They accused ECOWAS of being manipulated by Western powers and not giving them adequate support in their fight against terrorism.

Although, Diop noted that Mali was open to cooperation with ECOWAS and neighbouring countries.

He said: “Our heads of state were obvious in Niamey in indicating that the withdrawal of the three countries from ECOWAS is irrevocable and was done without delay, and from this moment, we must stop looking in the rearview mirror,” said the head of Malian diplomacy.

Mali remains open to working with our neighbours and other organisations with whom we share this space. We will have to maintain discussions with others to move forward, but I think the path taken is not reversible.

ECOWAS had given the rebellious countries one year to return to the bloc, after which it will consider the introduction of visas for their citizens. Diop frowns at this request.

It (the introduction of visas) proves us right in the sense that certain ECOWAS officials have not abandoned the old methods of scaring the (people), of blackmailing the (people), said Diop.

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