Germany's Development Minister Dirk Niebel on Thursday called on Mali's leaders to produce a viable roadmap for a political solution to the country's crises, echoing calls from regional heads of state.
Niebel, who is currently on a three-country visit of West Africa, was due to meet interim Prime Minister Cheick Modibo Diarra in Bamako on Thursday, as well as Amadou Toumani Toure, the former leader who was ousted in a March 22 coup.
Mali's leaders have been scrambling to propose a viable transition government, in the wake of the coup, that is strong enough to tackle an insurgency in the country's north.
Interim President Dioncounda Traore has said he plans to install a ``high council’’ consisting of himself and two vice presidents.
``The government is keeping an eye on Germany's stance on Mali. It knows that it is a good benchmark for Europe's attitude in general,’’ Niebel said.
On Tuesday, Djibril Bassole, Burkina Faso's foreign minister and chief mediator for the ECOWAS, travelled to Mali, where he met representatives from Ansar Dine, one of the extremist groups controlling the north of the country.
He said that ECOWAS would be willing to negotiate with the group if it cut links with terrorist allies such as AQIM.
Bassole also stopped in Gao, in northern Mali, but did not meet leaders of the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJWA), an extremist group active in the area that has been linked to the kidnappings of Europeans.
In New York, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Wednesday warned that terrorists may be finding refuge in northern Mali and made an urgent appeal to the UN Security Council to get involved in the crisis in the west African country by issuing sanctions. (dpa/NAN)