Senegal's Faye makes first visit to military-ruled Mali and Burkina Faso

Senegal's new President Bassirou Diomaye Faye on Thursday began his first visit to Mali and Burkina Faso to strengthen ties with these two states which have quit regional bloc ECOWAS.

Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger are all under military rule following coups.

In January, the trio announced they were quitting The Economic Community of West African States, which they said was under French influence, to create their own regional grouping -- the Alliance of Sahel States (AES).

Read moreWith ECOWAS exit, Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger leave democratic transition in limbo

Faye landed in the Malian capital on Thursday and headed to the presidential palace where he is due to hold talks with junta head Colonel Assimi Goita, a Malian presidential source said.

"These visits are part of a drive to strengthen the historic ties of good neighbourliness, fraternal friendship, solidarity and multifaceted cooperation," the Senegalese presidency said in a statement.

Thursday's trip marks his tenth visit to an African state since assuming the presidency.


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