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Paris [France], October 9 (ANI/Sputnik): France has no intention to retain its military presence in Mali for a long time, President Emmanuel Macron said.
"We have no intention to remain [in Mali], that is why we are closing the bases. Our work in Tessalit or Kidal [northern Mali] is not aimed at retaining bases," Macron said on the sidelines of the Africa-France summit in Montpellier on late Friday.
The French president added that Paris wanted to leave the bases in Mali as soon as possible but that required a strong state in Mali and significant investment projects in this country.
France has been conducting Operation Barkhane against terrorist groups in the Sahel region - Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger - since August 1, 2014. (ANI/Sputnik)