Canada Welcomes Agreement in Mali

April 6, 2012 – Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement:

“By agreeing to hand over power to a new transitional government, coup leaders in Bamako would—finally—be putting Mali’s national interest first. Canada welcomes reports of this decision and will be watching to see how it is implemented.

“Mali’s neighbours in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and others have been actively trying to broker an agreement to this end.

“With the political upheaval in the capital now, hopefully, resolved, Mali and its regional and international partners can focus on the immediate and pressing challenges in the north, where rebels have unilaterally declared independence.

“Canada categorically rejects the northern rebels’ declaration of independence.

“Canada stands ready to help a democratic Mali build a better, brighter future for all Malians as they work to maintain their country’s territorial integrity. Northern Mali must not become a haven for international terrorism.”

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI